Denver – A rich dentist killed his 34 year old wife“I collected about $5 million in insurance money and later told my longtime boyfriend that “I put my f— – He killed the wife!”.
The alleged entry occurred at a Phoenix steakhouse during an argument between Lawrence “Larry” Rudolph and his girlfriend, Lori Milliron, when they learned in 2020 that the FBI was investigating the shooting death of his wife, Bianca Rudolph, in a small cabin in Zambia. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bishop Gravell said in a Denver courtroom.
“He killed his wife for that!” Gravel points to Milliron, who has been accused of lying to a grand jury and being an assistant after the fact and is being tried with Rudolph.
Rudolph, 67, has been charged with murder and mail fraud, which prosecutors describe as a premeditated crime. If found guilty of manslaughter at trial, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty, which is being held in a Colorado courtroom because the insurance payments were based here.
Rudolph has maintained his innocence. He told Zambian police that his wife had died while in the bathroom, suggesting that she had shot herself while trying to pack a firearm the couple went on to visit.
“He has chosen speculation over science. He has chosen fiction over fact,” Rudolph’s lawyer David Marcus declared in an equally passionate opening statement.
Marcus argued that Rudolph, the parents of two children, was in a happy marriage in 2016 that over the years had its ups and downs as the two had extramarital affairs — but the two continued to take frequent big game hunting trips. They said that Bianca Rudolph had known about her husband’s relationship with Milliron for a long time.
Marcus had the couple’s older children stand in court to confirm the jurors supported their father, who had paid close attention to the opening statements with Milliron.
Milliron’s attorney, John Dill, told jurors that his client knew nothing of any of the alleged murders and suggested that he was the victim of key questions from investigators and the grand jury.
“This is not a trial about adultery,” Dill said.
Dill said no one saw the shotgun explosion in the cabin.
Marcus said the shooting happened around 5 a.m. when local guides were serving coffee to the couple and helping them prepare for their return trip to America.
Within seconds, the guides were inside, finding Rudolph in distress and shock, Marcus said. Marcus argued that that morning, with the support staff, cabin doors open and window sheds pulled up, Rudolph had not had time to shoot his wife.
Displaying a photo of the cabin—blood splattered on the floor, Bianca’s body covered by a black-striped white blanket, a 12-gauge Browning shotgun lying inside a soft case nearby—Marcus argued that Bianca accidentally dropped the weapon, triggering a fatal shot to the heart, as she quickly prepared for the trip while Larry Rudolph was in the bathroom.
Marcus said Zambian officials determined two days after the October 11, 2016 shooting that it was accidental. Investigators at insurers who paid $4.8 million later came to the same conclusion.
Prosecutors say evidence suggests his wounds came from shots fired from 2 to 3.5 feet away.
Gravell said the government would prove that Rudolph, who had made a small fortune with the Pennsylvania dental franchise, killed Bianca after receiving an ultimatum from Milliron, a former hygienist and manager of his office, that he Divorced his wife.
Federal prosecutors, citing a US consular officer in Zambia and others, said Rudolph wasbefore returning home. A friend of Bianca’s also told the FBI that she was suspicious because Bianca was a devout Catholic who may have opposed the practice.
But Marcus displayed a copy of Bianca’s will to the jurors, stating that she wanted to be cremated in the event of her death.
Marcus argued that Rudolph had no financial motive for the murder. His net worth at the time was over $15 million; The insurance proceeds went to a trust for their children; And a premarital agreement with Bianca specified that he would receive $2 million in case of divorce, he said.
Rudolph plans to testify during the three-week trial, Marcus said.
Marcus also told jurors that the witness had misunderstood Rudolph’s alleged confession of guilt at his Phoenix restaurant. He claimed what his client actually said, “They’re saying I killed my f—g wife for you,” Marcus said.
“If this case depends on it, I can’t believe we’re going to be here for three weeks,” Marcus said.
The case has drawn attention from Zambia to Pennsylvania to Arizona, where Rudolph — and later Rudolph and Milliron — set up a comfortable residence in the Phoenix-area enclave of Paradise Valley.
Rudolph had made a small fortune as a dentist and later owned a dental sedation franchise in the Pittsburgh area. He was an acquaintance on local TV, advertising his services. He met Bianca at the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied dentistry, and they married in 1982.
The couple made frequent trips abroad and traveled to Kafue National Park in 2016 so that Bianca could fulfill her desire to get a leopard.