Alice Uden, a 75-year-old Missouri woman on trial for killing her husband nearly 40 years ago, testified Tuesday that she shot him to protect her then-2-year-old daughter, The Associated Press reports
Uden is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Ronald Holtz.
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The prosecution has focused on inconsistencies in Uden's accounts over the years.
The couple had been married for less than two months at the time of the shooting, having met while Uden was a nurse in the psychiatric unit of a Veterans Administration hospital. Holtz was a Vietnam veteran.
One of Uden's sons, Todd Scott, testified last week that his mother admitted in the 1970s of killing Holtz in his sleep. During his questioning, he looked at the wheelchair-bound Uden and said, "I hate you," the AP reported.
"She just, out of the blue, told me how she got up one night, got a .22, and shot Ron in the head," Scott, now 53, told a Wyoming jury last week, according to People magazine
. "I don't know why a mother would tell her children she killed somebody."
Uden's lawyers contend that Holtz was a violent drug user, and was about to kill her daughter because she cried one morning while he tried to sleep. Uden testified that she was knocked down, and saw Holtz head into her daughter's room. She said she retrieved her .22-caliber rifle and shot Holtz as he stood by the crib.
Prosecutors argue Holtz was in bed, shot in the back of the head while he slept.
Detectives found Holtz's remains last summer in an abandoned mine shaft between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming.
Uden and her fourth and current husband, Gerald Uden, 71, were arrested in Missouri in September.
In a bizarre twist, Gerald Uden has since pleaded guilty to murdering his ex-wife and her two children in Wyoming in 1980, though the two cases appear unrelated.
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