ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — Prosecutors say a Texas man accused of killing his wife 45 years ago in a staged car crash in suburban Chicago did so to collect her life insurance.
Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Maria McCarthy said Tuesday in her opening statement that Donnie Rudd married Noreen Kumeta because he wanted to kill her and "did just that."
Authorities initially ruled the 19-year-old woman's death in 1973 an accident, and the now 76-year-old Rudd wasn't charged until late 2015 when he was living in Sugar Land, Texas.
Rudd claims his bride was thrown from their car after another driver ran them off a road. In his opening statement, defense attorney Timothy Grace said the evidence will show Noreen died in a terrible accident.
Prosecutors assert a 2013 autopsy of Kumeta Rudd's remains determined she died of homicide and $120,000 in life insurance motivated Rudd to kill his wife.