Dentist discovered responsible of killing spouse throughout searching journey

On Monday, a dentist was found guilty by a federal jury of fatally shooting his wife in the heart during a big game hunting trip to Zambia in 2016 and subsequently collecting nearly $4.9 million in insurance payouts.

The jury found the dentist, Lawrence Rudolph, guilty of one count of murdering a U.S. citizen abroad and one count of mail fraud after deliberating for a day and a half at the conclusion of a three-week trial in the courtroom. federal. in Denver.

Bianca Rudolph, Dr. Rudolph’s wife of 34 years, died at the end of a hunting trip. Dr. Rudolph, 67, who was traveling with Larry, pleaded not guilty to her death in January.

“We are grateful for the diligence of the jury in reviewing all the evidence in this case,” Cole Finegan, the United States attorney for the district of Colorado, said in a statement. “Bianca Rudolph deserves justice.”

Dr. Rudolph’s attorney will appeal the decision, said David Oscar Markus, a Miami-based criminal trial attorney. Dr. Rudolph’s two adult children signed an affidavit saying they believed in his innocence.

“We are deeply disappointed,” his lawyers said in a statement. “We believe in Larry and his children.”

Dr Rudolph, who will be sentenced on February 1, 2023, could face a maximum penalty of life in prison or the death penalty for the murder charge. Mail fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

In 2016, the couple traveled to Zambia, traveling to Kafue National Park, an area roughly the size of New Jersey that is popular with safari operators. It is home to cheetahs, hippos, lions, rare antelopes and leopards, the last of which Miss Rudolph hopes to catch on the trip.

According to federal court documents, a hunting guide and game instructor said they rushed to the cabin on the morning of October 11, 2016, after hearing a gunshot. They saw Miss Rudolph bleeding from the left side of her chest. Dr Rudolph said his wife accidentally opened fire when she put it away, while he was in the bathroom.

Zambia’s local law enforcement determined that Ms Rudolph’s death was an accident.

Investigators later said that Dr. Rudolph had had an affair with Lori Milliron during their marriage and at the time of his wife’s death, and that he adjusted life insurance policies for her that same year. . Prosecutors argued during the trial that Dr. Rudolph killed his wife for financial reasons and to date Miss Milliron.

“I didn’t shoot my wife at all,” Dr. Rudolph said at Wednesday’s hearing, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette. “I didn’t kill my wife for the insurance money. I didn’t kill my wife to have sex with Lori Milliron or anyone else.”

Milliron was found guilty of being an accessory to murder, obstruction of justice and two counts of perjury before a grand jury. She was the manager of his dental practice in Greensburg, Pa., according to court documents.

She will be free with an ankle monitor until sentencing, according to the Associated Press. Ms. Milliron was not found guilty of the other three counts of perjury. Her attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

“We can only hope this ruling gives Bianca’s family some peace,” he said. Mr. Finegan, US attorney, said.

Dr. Rudolph told investigators that a Browning 12-mm pistol accidentally exploded while Miss Rudolph was packing it. He attempted to cremate her body shortly after her death, which raised suspicions from US consular officials. At the time, he cited the inconvenience of moving the body overseas, but investigators noted that Dr Rudolph had arranged to have some of the large animals he hunted to be transported. international shipping in the past.

A friend of Ms. Rudolph also told FBI officials that she did not want to be cremated because of her religious views.

The Zambia Police Agency determined “the firearm was loaded from previous hunting activities and the usual safety precautions at the time of the gun’s packaging were not considered, causing the gun to be fired accidentally”. according to a summary cited in federal court of documents.

But when the FBI and US consular officials tried to reconstruct the shooting, they determined it was unlikely she had accidentally pulled the trigger. They say she was shot between six and a half to eight meters away.

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