A TROPHY hunter allegedly told his lover “I killed my wife for you” after murdering his spouse to bag a life insurance payout worth £4.2million.
Dentist Lawrence Rudolph, 67, is accused of killing his wife Bianca at a remote cabin Zambia, Afrika, during a leopard-hunting safari.
Prosecutors allege Rudolph, from Pennsylvania, murdered his spouse for a £4.2million insurance payout – despite claims at the time in 2016 she shot herself.
At a court hearing in Colorado – the state where the insurance payments were made – it was alleged Rudolph admitted his guilt to his girlfriend Lori Milliron.
It’s alleged he told her he’d murdered his wife while at a steakhouse in Phoenix, Arizona, after he found out the FBI were probing his wife’s death in 2020.
Pointing at Ms Milliron, assistant US attorney Bishop Grewell said: “He killed his wife for her.”
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But Rudolph’s lawyer, David Markus, argued the witness had overheard him incorrectly, and he had actually said “they’re saying I killed my f***ing wife for you”.
He told the court the shooting happened as staff were going in and out of the cabin to serve the couple breakfast.
Markus told jurors workers found Rudolph in shock following the shooting, and claimed his wife had accidentally dropped the weapon – causing it to go off.
Following a two-day investigation in Zambia, authorities concluded it to be an accident, as did insurance investigators, Markus said.
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Rudolph has been charged with murder and mail fraud.
If found guilty, he faces maximum sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Intussen, Ms Milliron is charged with lying to a grand jury and being an accessory after the fact.
Mr Rudolph has always denied being responsible for his wife’s death, having told authorities in Zambia that he was in the bathroom when his wife shot herself as she packed away a shotgun as the couple prepared to return to the US.