A US dentist is accused of killing his wife on safari in Zambia. He says she accidentally discharged the gun – CNN
Lawrence Rudolph, 67, is charged with murder and mail fraud in the death of his wife, Bianca. His attorney said the facts of the case removed all doubt of Rudolph’s guilt, including that the shot hit Bianca’s heart at an angle.
Lawrence and Bianca Rudolph traveled to Zambia to hunt big game, but failed to bring back any trophies. Bianca Rudolph was shot dead in their hunting cabin, and Lawrence Rudolph is now facing charges of foreign murder and mail fraud.
Federal prosecutors allege Rudolph killed his wife for insurance money and to be with his girlfriend. Rudolph’s attorney says his client had no financial motive to kill his wife.
After his wife’s death, Rudolph reported her death to the US Embassy in Zambia, but when he found out the embassy officials had taken photos of his wife’s body, he was “livid.” Investigators ruled that his wife died accidentally, and the insurers paid out the policies.
Federal investigators say Rudolph orchestrated his wife’s death as part of a scheme to defraud life insurance companies and to allow him to live openly with his girlfriend, the FBI alleges.
Court documents allege that Bianca Rudolph’s wounds came from a shot fired from at least two feet away. A forensic medical examiner determined that the shot came from a distance of between two and three-and-a-half feet.
The prosecution told the judge it plans to question Rudolph for at least two hours, and the judge warned the jury that the trial will likely wrap up on Friday.
The case has gotten national attention and is being tried in Colorado because several insurers tied to the $4.8 million dollar payout were headquartered here. The defense called a blood spatter expert, a forensic accountant and renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, who criticized the autopsy.
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