Dentist found guilty of murdering his wife while hunting

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

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

Bianca Rudolph, the 34-year-old wife of Dr. Rudolph, died at the end of a hunting trip. dr. Rudolph, 67, who goes by Larry, pleaded not guilty to her death in January.

“We are grateful for the jury’s dedication to reviewing all of the evidence in this case,” Cole Finegan, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, said in a statement. “Bianca Rudolph deserved justice.”

The lawyers of Dr. Rudolph will appeal the decision, said David Oscar Markus, a Miami criminal defense attorney. Two of Dr. Rudolph signed a statement saying they believed in his innocence.

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

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dr. Rudolph, who will be sentenced on February 1, 2023, could face a maximum prison term of life or the death penalty on the murder charge. The charge of mail fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

In 2016, the couple went to Zambia and traveled to Kafue National Park, an area the size of New Jersey that is popular with safari operators. It is home to cheetahs, hippos, lions, rare antelopes and leopards, which Mrs. Rudolph hoped to hunt during the trip.

A hunting guide and wildlife scout said they rushed to the cabin on the morning of Oct. 11, 2016, after hearing a gunshot, according to federal court documents. They saw Mrs. Rudolph bleeding on the left side of her chest. dr. Rudolph said his wife accidentally fired the shotgun while she was putting it away while he was in the bathroom.

Local Zambian law enforcement officers have determined that Mrs Rudolph’s death was an accident.

Researchers later said that Dr. Rudolph had been involved in a relationship with Lori Milliron during the marriage and at the time of his wife’s death, and that he had made adjustments to the life insurance policies for her that same year. Prosecutors argued at trial that Dr. Rudolph killed his wife for financial reasons and to be with Mrs. to be millions.

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“I definitely didn’t shoot my wife,” said Dr. Rudolph at trial Wednesday, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette. “I didn’t kill my wife for insurance. I didn’t kill my wife to be with Lori Milliron or anyone else.”

Ms. Milliron was found guilty of complicity in murder, obstruction of justice and two counts of perjury before the grand jury. According to court documents, she is the manager of his dental practice in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

She will remain free with an ankle monitor until sentencing, according to The UK Time News. Ms. Milliron was found not guilty of three other charges of perjury. Her lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.

“We can only hope that this verdict will bring some peace to Bianca’s family,” said Mr. Finegan, the US attorney.

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dr. Rudolph told investigators that a Browning 12-gauge shotgun accidentally went off while Mrs. Rudolph was packing it. He did not want to have her body cremated long after her death, which made US consular officials suspicious. At the time, he mentioned the inconvenience of moving the body internationally, but researchers noted that Dr. Rudolph had in the past arranged for several large animals that he hunted to be transported internationally.

A friend of Mrs. Rudolph also told FBI officials it was unlikely she would want to be cremated because of her religious views.

Zambia police determined that the “firearm was loaded from previous hunting activities and normal security measures were not taken into account at the time the firearm was packed, causing the firearm to fire accidentally,” according to a summary published in the federal court is cited. documents.

But when the FBI and US consular officials tried to reconstruct the shooting, they decided it was unlikely she had accidentally pulled the trigger. They said she was shot from two and a half to two meters away.

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