CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The second of two decades-old murder cases involving an elderly Missouri couple arrested last fall headed to trial Tuesday as prosecutors and defense attorneys sought to seat jurors who hadn't already heard about either well-publicized case.
Prosecutors allege Alice Uden, 75, shot her husband, Ronald Holtz, as he slept sometime in late 1974 or early 1975. Investigators recovered his remains last summer at an abandoned mine in southeast Wyoming.
Uden's attorneys are preparing to argue she acted in self-defense.
Her current husband, Gerald Uden, 71, pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to shooting his ex-wife and her 10- and 11-year-old sons in central Wyoming in 1980. He's serving a life sentence, the same penalty Alice Uden faces.
Police have not linked the two cases since arresting the Udens in Chadwick, Mo., in September.
In Alice Uden's trial, the defense expects to call to the stand a sociologist who could testify about how police typically responded to domestic violence calls in the 1970s. Alice Uden's attorneys also have indicated they plan to argue that she acted to protect herself and her then-2-year-old daughter.
Holtz disappeared at age 25 after being married to Alice Uden for only a month or two. Investigators dug up his remains from the mine last year and say they found a .22-caliber bullet in his skull.
One of Alice Uden's attorneys, Donald Miller, told District Judge Steven Sharpe last week that he doesn't want to seat jurors who might have reached conclusions about Alice Uden's guilt based on what they'd heard about Gerald Uden's case.
Miller asked Sharpe to increase the pool of prospective jurors from 65 to 75. District Attorney Scott Homar said he didn't object, and Sharpe said he would grant the request.
Jury selection likely will take a day or two. Sharpe has reserved eight days for the trial.