DENVER (AP) — The girlfriend of a dentist convicted of murdering his wife on an African safari was sentenced Friday to 17 years in prison for being an accessory to the crime during a hearing where relatives of the slain woman told her she had destroyed their family.
Ana Rudolph, daughter of 57-year-old victim Bianca Rudolph, said that Lori Milliron, 65, had “plotted to eliminate” her mother.
“Lori, you have taken my parents,” Rudolph said directly to Milliron, but “despite everything you have done you will never take my soul. This might be difficult to understand … because you don’t have one.”
Milliron was convicted last year of perjury, being an accessory to a murder after the fact and obstructing a grand jury in a case that’s garnered national attention. She was charged alongside Lawrence “Larry” Rudolph, a U.S. dentist who was convicted last year of fatally shooting his wife while on a 2016 hunting trip in Zambia. His sentencing, originally set for this week, has been postponed.
John Dill, an attorney for Milliron, said the prison sentence was longer than what is typically dolled out for such charges, calling it “excessive” and vowing to appeal. Dill argued that the convictions were merely based on Milliron’s perjury charges and do not implicate her in the execution of the crime.
Standing in front of the judge on Friday, Milliron insisted she was innocent of the crimes but said she was “sympathetic” to the Rudolph family.
Judge William J. Martínez argued that the long sentence was deserved because evidence pointed to Milliron “encouraging” the crime. Martínez added that Milliron seemed “unrepentant” in part because he judged her emotionally unmoved when she was shown graphic images and listened to wrenching testimony during the trial.
After Bianca Rudolph’s death in 2016, Lawrence Rudolph claimed his wife accidentally shot herself while packing to leave Zambia for the United States. Later, Rudolph collected millions in accidental death insurance payments. After an FBI investigation, however, authorities charged Rudolph in 2021 with her murder.
Rudolph maintains that his late wife of 34 years accidentally killed herself, but prosecutors countered that evidence showed that that was impossible because the wound to her heart came from a shot fired from 2 to 3.5 feet (60 centimeters to 1 meter) away.