A jury in Cheyenne, Wyoming this week found Alice Uden guilty of second-degree murder. Uden was found to have shot and killed her husband during the mid 1970s. Uden is 75 years old and most recently lived in Missouri.
According to a Wyoming Tribune Eagle report, Uden was arrested last fall nearly 40 years after the disappearance of her third husband, Ronald Holtz. Uden and Holtz had met as psychiatric patients at a VA Medical Center in Sheridan, Wyoming. Holtz then disappeared in late 1974 or early 1975. Uden’s arrest came after a long investigation into Holtz’s disappearance, which included interviews with Uden’s two children.
Holtz’s remains were discovered last August. The man’s body had been placed in a cardboard barrel and tossed down an abandoned mine shaft outside of Cheyenne.
Uden had testified during the trial that the shooting was in self-defense. She stated that Holtz had been threatening her one year-old daughter. Uden had previously told police that she shot Holtz in the head while he was sleeping.
The jury this week found that there was premeditated malice in the shooting, though the second-degree murder conviction is a step down from the first-degree murder that Uden had originally been charged with. An anonymous juror who spoke with the Eagle Tribune said that 11 of the jurors had been willing to convict Uden on the first-degree murder charge.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled, pending a pre-sentencing investigation. Uden faces a minimum of 20 years in prison and possibly a life sentence.
In a bizarre twist to the case, Uden’s current husband has also been convicted of murder. Gerald Uden pleaded guilty late last year to the 1980 murders of his ex-wife and his two adopted sons, ages 12 and 10. The 71 year-old man is currently serving a life sentence.
Image via the Christian County, Missouri Sheriff’s Office