An American dentist was discovered responsible of murdering his spouse throughout their searching journey in Africa

Lawrence Rudolph, 67, killed his wife, Bianca Rudolph, with a shotgun and defrauded multiple insurance companies, A federal jury was formed Monday. Rudolph made more than $4.8 million in life insurance payments after her death nearly six years ago.

Rudolph maintains his innocence and says he believes the gun accidentally fired.

“I don’t kill my wife. I can’t kill my wife. I won’t kill my wife,” Rudolph told jurors as he defended himself at a federal court in Denver last week.

The Phoenix couple share a passion for big game hunting and traveled to the southern African nation of Zambia in September 2016 so Bianca Rudolph could add a cheetah to her collection of animal titles. They carried two guns for hunting: a Remington .375 rifle and a 12-round Browning pistol.

Two weeks later, as Bianca Rudolph was packing to return to the couple’s home, she suffered a fatal explosion from a Browning shotgun in their hunting cabin in Kafue National Park. Rudolph told investigators he heard gunfire at dawn while he was in the bathroom and believes the handgun accidentally exploded while she was placing it in the case, court documents judgment said. He told investigators he found her bleeding on the floor.

Lawrence Rudolph's defense investigator, left, arrives in federal court in Denver with the dentist's children.

But federal prosecutors at Rudolph’s trial in Denver, where the insurance companies are based, described it as a premeditated crime. Prosecutors argued that Rudolph killed his wife of 30 years for insurance money and to have sex with his girlfriend.

“Bianca Rudolph deserves justice”, US Attorney Cole Finegan said in a statement following the jury’s verdict. “We can only hope this ruling gives Bianca’s family some peace.”

Defense attorney David Markus has argued that Larry Rudolph had no financial incentive to kill his wife. In court documents, he noted that Rudolph owned a dental clinic near Pittsburgh that was valued at $10 million.

“We are obviously extremely disappointed. We have confidence in Larry and his children,” Markus and defense attorneys Margot Moss and Lauren Doyle said in a statement following Monday’s ruling. “There are a lot of really strong appellate issues, which we’ll pursue once we’ve had a chance to regroup.”

An embassy official expressed doubts after the shooting, the FBI said

In court documents, investigators allege Rudolph raised suspicions when he sought to quickly cremate his wife’s body in Zambia.

Rudolph scheduled her cremation three days after her death, according to court documents. After reporting her death to the US Embassy in the Zambian capital Lusaka, the consular chief “told the FBI that he had a bad feeling about the situation, which he thought was evolving too quickly.” , FBI special agent Donald Peterson wrote in the crime transcript. oath.

As a result, the consulate and two other embassy officials went to the funeral home where the body was held to take pictures and preserve any possible evidence. When Rudolph discovered embassy officials had photographed his wife’s body, he was “dumbfounded,” Peterson wrote.

Initially, Rudolph told the consulate that his wife may have died by suicide, but an investigation by Zambian law enforcement ruled it was an accidental discharge.

Investigators for the insurance companies reached similar conclusions and paid according to the policies.

But forensic evidence suggests Bianca Rudolph’s injuries came from a gunshot at least two feet away, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

“At that distance, there is reason to believe that Bianca Rudolph did not die from accidental discharge as stated,” the lawsuit states.

A friend of Bianca Rudolph asked the FBI to investigate

But federal investigators said the shooting was premeditated so that Rudolph “could have falsely claimed the death was an accident.”

The FBI alleges that Rudolph orchestrated his wife’s death as part of a plot to defraud life insurance companies and allow him to live openly with his then-girlfriend.

Larry Rudolph was charged with murder of a foreigner in the death of his wife in 2016.

Bianca and Lawrence Rudolph moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona about 4 years before her death. Rudolph’s dental practice remains in Pennsylvania, and he goes back and forth from his Phoenix home.

Federal authorities stepped in after a friend of Bianca Rudolph asked the FBI to investigate the death on suspicion of her foul play. This friend said Larry Rudolph had been involved in extramarital affairs and had a girlfriend at the time of his wife’s death.

According to court documents, the girlfriend worked as a manager at his dental practice near Pittsburgh and told a former employee that she had dated him for 15 to 20 years.

Three months after Bianca Rudolph’s death, the girlfriend moved in with Larry Rudolph, according to court documents.

The jury found Rudolph’s girlfriend on Monday guilty of an accessory after the fact of murder, obstruction of justice and two counts of perjury before a grand jury, According to the Department of Justice.

CNN has reached out to her attorney for comment.

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