An American dentist was discovered responsible of killing his spouse on their African safari

Lawrence Rudolph, 67, killed his wife, Bianca Rudolph, with a shotgun and defrauded insurance conglomerates, a federal jury found Monday. Rudolph pocketed more than $4.8 million in life insurance payouts after her death nearly six years ago.

Rudolph has maintained his innocence and said he believes the gun was fired by accident.

“I didn’t kill my wife. I couldn’t murder my wife. I wouldn’t kill my wife,” Rudolph told jurors when he took the stand in his own defense at a federal trial in Denver last week.

The Phoenix couple had a passion for big game hunting, and traveled to the southern African nation of Zambia in September 2016 so Bianca Rudolph could add a leopard to her animal trophy collection. They carried two guns for the hunt: a Remington .375 rifle and a Browning 12 gauge shotgun.

Two weeks later, while saving the couple’s return home, Bianca Rudolph suffered a fatal Browning shotgun blast in their hunting cabin in Kafue National Park. Rudolph told investigators he heard the shot at dawn while he was in the bathroom and believed the shotgun accidentally went off while holstering it, court documents said. He told investigators he found her bleeding on the floor.

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 be with his girlfriend, Lori Milliron.

Defense attorney David Markus argued that Larry Rudolph had no financial motive to kill his wife. In court documents, he noted that Rudolph has a dental practice near Pittsburgh worth $10 million.

“We are obviously very disappointed. We believe in Larry and his children,” Markus and fellow defense attorneys Margot Moss and Lauren Doyle told CNN in a statement after Monday’s verdict. “There are a lot of really strong appeal issues, which we’ll be addressing after we’ve had a chance to regroup.”

The jury also found Milliron, Rudolph’s girlfriend, guilty of being an accessory after the fact to murder, obstruction of justice and two counts of perjury based on her testimony before a grand jury, according to the Department of Justice.
said Milliron, who was put on trial with Rudolph the couple had an open relationship, according to court documents. Milliron and Rudolph lived together from 2017 until his arrest last year, her attorney, John Dill, told CNN.

“We’re disappointed in the jury’s verdict, but that’s our system,” Dill said. “Lori Milliron is innocent and we will continue to fight to free her.”

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

In court documents, investigators alleged that Rudolph became suspicious when he sought to hastily cremate his wife’s body in Zambia.

Rudolph was scheduled to be cremated three days after her death, according to court documents. After reporting her death to the US Embassy in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, the consular chief told the FBI he had a bad feeling about the case, which he thought was moving too quickly,” a wrote FBI special agent Donald Peterson in the criminal. affidavit.

As a result, the consular chief and two other embassy officials went to the funeral home where the body was being kept to take photographs and preserve any evidence that might be there. When Rudolph learned that Embassy officials had taken photos of his wife’s body, he was “vivid,” Peterson wrote.

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

Investigators for the insurers reached a similar conclusion and paid out on the policies.

But forensic evidence showed that Bianca Rudolph’s wounds came from shots fired from at least two feet, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

“At that time, there is reason to believe that Bianca Rudolph was not killed by accidental discharge as alleged,” the complaint said.

US Attorney Cole Finegan welcomed him jury ruling.
“Bianca Rudolph deserved justice,” Finegan said in a statement. “We can only hope that this verdict will bring some measure of peace to Bianca’s family.”

A friend of Bianca Rudolph asked the FBI to investigate

But federal investigators claimed the shooting was premeditated so Rudolph could “falsely claim the death was the result of an accident.”

Rudolph ordered his wife’s death as part of a scheme to defraud life insurance companies and allow him to live openly with his girlfriend, the FBI alleged.

Larry Rudolph was charged with manslaughter in the 2016 death of his wife.

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

Federal authorities became involved after a friend of Bianca Rudolph asked the FBI to investigate the death because she suspected foul play. The friend said Larry Rudolph was involved in extramarital affairs and was with his girlfriend when his wife died.

Milliron worked as a manager at Larry Rudolph’s dental practice near Pittsburgh and told a former employee that she had been dating him for 15 to 20 years, according to court documents. Milliron moved in with Rudolph three months after Bianca Rudolph’s death, court documents said.

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