PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — The Paradise Valley man accused of killing his wife while on safari in Africa claiming she accidentally shot herself is scheduled to go to trial in July.
Lawrence Rudolph is charged with foreign murder and mail fraud. He was arrested in December, five years after his wife Bianca's death in 2016.
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Now, Rudolph's girlfriend, Lori Milliron, is being charged, too. The two have been living together in Paradise Valley since the weeks after Bianca's death, according to court records.
Milliron is charged with comforting and assisting Rudolph to hinder his trial and punishment. She's also charged with multiple counts of providing false testimony.
Milliron's attorney, John Dill, released the following statement to 12 News:
"Ms. Milliron did not commit any crime and completely denies the government’s charges. She is a hardworking grandmother who the government has falsely charged without knowing the facts. She looks forward to being exonerated, but the shame in this case is that she is even forced to defend herself against allegations based totally on rumors and gossip."
The hunting trip that ended in death
In 2012, Lawrence and Bianca Rudolph moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona. Records show Lawrence would travel back and forth from Arizona to Pennsylvania to run his dental practice.
In 2016, Lawrence and Bianca Rudolph embarked on a hunting trip to Africa, a place they had visited several times. On this trip, they went to Zambia with the goal of killing a leopard. They brought two guns with them - a Remington .375 Rifle and a Browning 12-gauge shotgun.
At the end of their trip, tragedy struck. Bianca was shot in the chest and died.
Lawrence told African officials she had accidentally shot herself while trying to pack the shotgun into its case.
Her death was ruled an accident by African officials. But red flags were raised by some right away.
According to federal records, the consular chief who interacted with Lawrence following Bianca's death said Lawrence was "livid" they had taken photographs of Bianca's body.
Lawrence insisted on cremating her in Africa before returning home and paid cash to rush the process.
A friend of Bianca's notified the FBI that Lawrence had been having an affair at the time of her death with Milliron.
Once Lawrence returned home, he began claiming her life insurance policy and cashed out close to $5 million.
Since then, county property records show Lawrence Rudolph has been living in a home in Paradise Valley.
But in December, five years after Bianca's death, authorities arrested him in connection with her death.
Records show a former employee of Rudolph's dental practice told federal investigators she knew Rudolph's girlfriend, Milliron, who claimed to have dated him for 15-20 years while he was married to Bianca. She alleges Milliron stated she gave Rudolph an ultimatum of one year to sell his dental office and leave Bianca.
The federal case is being handled in Colorado where Bianca's insurance company is based.
An Arizona bartender allegedly overhears a confession
According to federal court records, a tip from an Arizona bartender is now playing a role in the case.
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 FBI reported it and then spoke with that bartender.
The bartender stated Rudolph and Milliron were regulars at the Arizona restaurant they worked at. One night, the bartender claimed when Rudolph was talking to Milliron, Rudolph loudly stated, "I killed my f***ing wife for you."
The bartender said the statement was so shocking, that they immediately told colleagues. A nearby family also allegedly overheard.
Rudolph remains in custody in Colorado. He and Milliron's trial is set to begin on July 11.
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