Pennsylvania dentist and big game hunter, testifying in a Denver courtroom Wednesday denied murdering his wife and refuted prosecution claim that after, he told his girlfriend, ‘I killed my f***ing wife for you’
Dr. Lawrence ‘Larry’ Rudolph is charged with murder and mail fraud in what prosecutors describe as a premeditated crime and faces life in prison or the death penalty, if convicted
Rudolph, 67, was charged in December 2021 for the 2016 murder of his wife, Bianca Rudolph, in Zambia, then fraudulently claiming $4.8 million in life insurance payouts
Larry Rudolph said an unfamiliar shotgun they brought for the purpose of hunting a leopard accidentally went off, fatally wounding Bianca Rudolph on Oct. 11, 2016
‘I did not kill my wife. I could not murder my wife. I would not murder my wife,’ Rudolph told jurors Wednesday
Defendant’s voice cracked at times on the stand as he testified for over two hours about his open marriage to Bianca and the circumstances of her death while on safari in Zambia
Rudolph said he was in the bathroom when he heard the shot and came out and found his wife on the floor, bleeding
Defense lawyer argued his client who was worth more than $15million when his wife died, had no financial motive to commit murder, and the insurance payout went into a trust for their children
Millionaire Pennsylvania dentist accused of shooting and killing his wife in their cabin at the end of an African safari trip denied it on the stand Wednesday.
Dr. Lawrence ‘Larry’ Rudolph said an unfamiliar shotgun he and his wife, Bianca Rudolph, brought on the trip to hunt a leopard accidentally went off, wounding her as she hurried to pack early in the morning.
‘I did not kill my wife. I could not murder my wife. I would not murder my wife,’ Rudolph told jurors, his voice cracking over two hours of testimony about his open marriage to Bianca Rudolph and her death on October 11, 2016.
Rudolph was charged with murder in December 2021, five years after the 2016 shooting death of his wife in Zambia – then fraudulently claiming $4.8 million in life insurance payouts.
Rudolph, 67, said he was in the bathroom when he heard the shot and came out and found his wife on the floor bleeding.
In the stand on Wednesday, Rudolph’s voice cracked at times as he testified for over two hours about the accidental shooting death of his wife in October 2016 while they were on a hunting trip in Zambia, and the unusual dynamics of his open marriage with Bianca.
Rudolph told the jury that despite their marital problems, he and his wife, with whom shared two children, had agreed remain in the marriage, although they were both free to pursue sexual relationships with other people outside the union.
Larry Rudolph is charged with murder and mail fraud in what prosecutors describe as a premeditated crime and faces life in prison or the death penalty, if convicted.
The trial is being held in federal court in Denver, Colorado, the home base of the insurance companies that paid him nearly $5 million for his wife policy.
Prosecutors allege Rudolph killed his wife of 34 years to be with his girlfriend, Lori Milliron, who is charged with lying to a grand jury and being an accessory after the fact. Milliron is being tried alongside Rudolph.
Delivering their opening statements, the prosecution told jurors that Rudolph was overheard blurting out: ‘I killed my f***ing wife for you!’ during an argument with Milliron at a Phoenix steakhouse in 2020, after he learned that the FBI was investigating his wife’s death.
The defendant however, denies confessing to his wife’s killing.
Rudolph testified to the circumstances of the purported statement. He was having an argument with Milliron about their finances and how the COVID-19 pandemic, then at its start, would affect the Pennsylvania dental franchise that had made him a small fortune. At the time he was irritated, his main top concern being the FBI’s probe into the death of his wife.
Emphasizing that he never confessed to his wife’s killing, Rudolph said his actual words were, ‘Now they’re saying I killed my f***ing wife for you.’
Despite marital issues and twice being close to divorce, Rudolph said he and his wife, with whom he had two children, agreed to stay married in 2000, but were free to pursue sexual relationships with other people. After which he said, the tension in their marriage eased.
They were “reasonably happy” in their arrangement. Neither Milliron nor his wife issued him any ultimatums about ending his relationship with the other. Subsequently, the tension in their marriage eased, Rudolph said.
Describing themselves as ‘reasonably happy’ in their arrangement, Rudolph testified that neither his wife nor his mistress Lori Milliron issued him any ultimatums about ending his relationship with the other.
Defense lawyer, David Markus, disputes claims that his client had financial motives to commit murder. Rudolph was worth more than $15 million when his wife died and the insurance payout went into a trust for their children.
The defense also pointed out that authorities in Zambian, the country where the death occurred, determined two days after the Oct. 11, 2016, shooting that it was accidental. Moreover, investigators for the insurers who later paid $4.8 million reached the same conclusion.
In making their case the prosecution said that evidence shows Bianca Rudolph’s wounds came from a shot fired from 2 to 3.5 feet away.
In February police arrested Rudolph’s former office manager and alleged girlfriend, Lori Milliron.
Milliron is charged with nine counts of accessory after the fact and with lying to a federal grand jury about their alleged affair.
A former employee of Rudolph’s dental practice told federal investigators that Rudolph’s girlfriend, Milliron, who claimed to have dated him for 15-20 years while he was married to Bianca, stated that she gave Rudolph an ultimatum of one year to sell his dental office and leave Bianca.
The FBI cite the alleged “ultimatum” as a possible motive for the killing.
In January, a month after Rudolph’s arrest, the FBI received a tip from a restaurant employee who reported a colleague of Rudolph heard him confess to killing his wife while talking to Milliron.
The bartender stated Rudolph and Milliron were regulars at the Arizona restaurant. One night, the bartender claimed when Rudolph was talking to Milliron, Rudolph loudly stated, “I killed my f***ing wife for you.”
The statement was so shocking, the bartender immediately told colleagues. It is alleged that a nearby family also overheard the confession, but Rudolph’s lawyers say their client loved his wife and would never kill her.