DENVER (TCD) -- A 67-year-old man was found guilty this week of killing his wife during a safari in 2016 and cashing out on a hefty life insurance claim.
According to The Associated Press, a jury in federal court convicted Lawrence "Larry" Rudolph of first-degree murder and mail fraud for the death of his wife, Bianca Rudolph. The trial reportedly lasted three weeks and the jury deliberated for a day and a half. His attorneys plan to appeal.
Rudolph’s girlfriend, Lori Milliron, was found guilty of obstruction to a grand jury, accessory after the fact to murder, and two counts of perjury before a grand jury.
The Associated Press reports Bianca Rudolph died from a shotgun blast to her chest, but Larry argued she shot herself accidentally while he was in the bathroom. His attorneys claimed she was packing the gun as they were getting ready to leave Zambia and head back to the United States when she dropped it and it went off.
Prosecutors, however, said it was impossible for her to shoot herself because the shot had to have come from about 2 to 3 feet away.
Authorities in Zambia reportedly determined her death was accidental, and the insurers who eventually paid Larry nearly $5 million in life insurance agreed.
The Rudolphs reportedly had an open marriage, meaning they could have relationships with other people. Bianca Rudolph reportedly knew about her husband’s relationship with Milliron, who worked as a hygienist in his dental office. According to The Associated Press, prosecutors said Larry was angry because Bianca wanted more power over their finances and told him Milliron had to be fired.
Prosecutors reportedly said in their opening statements a witness heard Larry tell Milliron, "I killed my f---king wife for you!"
Larry testified he told Milliron he found out the FBI was investigating his wife’s death and said, "They’re saying I killed my f---king wife for you."
CBS News reports the FBI investigation began after one of Bianca’s friends called an FBI attaché office in South Africa to report the death as suspicious. The friend reportedly told the FBI that Larry Rudolph was in another relationship, and she found it odd that he had his wife cremated immediately after her death. She added that Bianca was Catholic and did not believe in cremation.
U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan said in a statement regarding the convictions, "We are thankful for the jury’s diligence looking at all the evidence in this case. Bianca Rudolph deserved justice. This case was an exceptional example of the entire U.S. Attorney’s Office pulling together with our law enforcement partners to uncover the truth and seek justice for a victim who had no other voice."