Decades-old murder case heads to trial

 Elderly couple arrested for separate murders 

By Mead Gruver
Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The second of two decades-old murder cases involving an elderly Missouri couple headed to trial Tuesday as prosecutors and defense attorneys began to question dozens of prospective jurors to find enough people who hadn’t heard about either well-publicized case.

Investigators haven’t linked the mid-1970s and 1980 crimes allegedly committed by Alice Uden, 75, and Gerald Uden, 71, but that’s only heightened widespread interest in the pair from rural Chadwick, Mo., since their arrest last September.

Frail-looking with short, white hair and wire glasses, Alice Uden wore a court-supplied hearing aid and sat in a wheelchair as Laramie County District Judge Steven Sharpe instructed prospective jurors not to read up on the case if they are empaneled.

Prosecutors allege she shot Ronald Holtz with a .22-caliber rifle as he slept sometime between Christmas Eve 1974, and Feb. 5, 1975. She had been married to Holtz, 25, for only a month or two.

The disappearance of Holtz almost 40 years ago had been all but forgotten. 

Then last summer, investigators recovered his remains from an abandoned mine on a small ranch in the mountains between Cheyenne and Laramie. They say his skull had a .22-caliber bullet in it.

Uden’s attorneys are preparing to argue she acted in self-defense.

Arrested at almost the same time as Alice Uden last fall was her current husband, Gerald Uden, who pleaded guilty Nov. 1 in another case all but forgotten by residents of Fremont County in central Wyoming.

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