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2 Seniors Charged in Ex-Spouses' Cold-Case Murders

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on October 01, 2013 3:26 PM

Two seniors in Missouri have been charged with the decades-old murders of their ex-spouses.

Alice Louise Uden, 74, and husband Gerald Uden, 71, each allegedly killed their exes in Wyoming separately before the couple married each other, prosecutors say.

Authorities are keeping mum on details, but the two seniors face extradition from their home in the Ozarks in Chadwick, Missouri.

Cold Case

In the mid-1970s, Alice Louise Uden allegedly shot her ex-husband in the back of his head as he slept and dumped his body in an abandoned gold mine on a ranch in southeastern Wyoming, reports the New York Daily News.

In 2007, the affidavit of a witness led authorities to the body that was located 40 feet down the mine shaft.

Separately, Gerald Uden allegedly confessed last week to killing his former wife and her two children with a .22-caliber rife during a hunting trip in 1980.

The Udens will now face charges more than 30 years after the killings, according to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Cold Case Team's press release.

Extradition

The motives behind the slayings and the role of their own relationship are still unclear. But the Udens are both facing extradition to Wyoming from Missouri.

Generally, when people think of "extradition," they conjure up the image of an epic Edward Snowden-esque international saga.

But extradition also refers to one state handing over an individual to another state for purposes of criminal trial or punishment.

Within the United States, federal law governs extradition from one state to another. States can enact their own extradition laws, as long as those laws don't conflict with federal law.

No Statute of Limitations on Murder

But as the alleged crimes took place more than three decades ago, what about the statute of limitations? That's a type of law that forbids prosecutors from charging someone with a crime that was committed more than a specified number of years ago.

Statutes of limitation aim to make sure convictions stem from reliable evidence (physical or eyewitness) that has not deteriorated with time.

However, not all crimes are governed by statutes of limitation. Murder in particular has no statute in limitations in any state. Sex offenses with minors, crimes of violence, kidnapping, arson, and forgery also have no statutes of limitation in a number of states.

Since murder isn't subject to statutes of limitation, the Udens' cold case could be prosecuted despite the incredible passage of time.

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