A multimillionaire dentist and big game hunter from Pennsylvania was convicted of murder and mail fraud on Monday for the shooting death of his wife on an African safari nearly six years earlier.
A grand jury found Lawrence “Larry” Rudolph, 67, guilty of kill his wife of 34, Bianca Rudolph, following a three-week trial in a Denver federal courthouse.
He was also convicted of mail fraud for taking $4.8 million in life insurance payments following the death of his wife in October 2016 – which he says was accidental and self-inflicted.
Jurors sided with prosecutors who said Rudolph killed his wife in cold blood as part of a premeditated plan to take life insurance payments and start a new life with his 20-year-old mistress .
They said Rudolph shot his wife on a hunting trip in Zambia on October 11, 2016 and years later was heard screaming “I killed my fucking wife for you!” during an argument with the other woman, Lori Milliron, while having dinner.
The rich dentist maintained his innocence during the trial and claimed that Bianca Rudolph accidentally shot herself in the chest while sheathing a shotgun while in the bathroom. He said his wife packed her bags in a hurry as she was in a rush to get home from the trip.
However, prosecutors said his gunshot wound could not have been self-inflicted. They presented evidence showing that the shot in his heart was fired from a distance of two to three and a half feet.
Prosecutors said Rudolph planned to murder his wife after she demanded more decision-making power over the couple’s finances and he demanded he fire Milliron.
Lawyers for Rudolph said he had no motive to kill his wife for Milliron because the couple had been in an open relationship since 2000, which allowed them to have sex with others.
They also said he had no financial need for the life insurance payments, which were paid into a trust for the couple’s children, despite being worth more than $15million at the time. . Insurance company investigators concluded the shooting was accidental and paid the family nearly $5 million.
Prosecutors said Milliron, who is the manager of Rudolph’s Pittsburgh-area dental franchise, learned about the murder after the fact. They accused her of lying to a federal grand jury about the case and her relationship with Rudolph.
She was also found guilty by the same jury of being an afterthought accessory to murder, obstruction of a grand jury, and two counts of perjury before a grand jury. She was found not guilty on two other counts of perjury.
Rudolph faces a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.
With post wires.