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Man tells mother he hates her during murder trial


CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Jurors heard emotional testimony Friday from one of the sons of a Missouri woman on trial for allegedly shooting her husband in Wyoming almost 40 years ago.

Todd Scott, 53, of Casper, testified that his mother, Alice Uden, of Chadwick, Missouri, told him in the 1970s she'd shot 25-year-old Ronald Holtz as he slept. His mother's words haunted him for years afterward, he said.

"I don't know why a mother would tell her children she killed somebody," Scott said, tearing up.

Scott said he later told police, employers - anyone who would listen - about what his mother had said to try to "rip this demon out of me."

He then turned to his frail, 75-year-old mother seated in a wheelchair across the courtroom and said: "I hate you."

The testimony of Scott and one of Uden's daughters bolstered prosecutors' argument that Holtz, Uden's third husband, was asleep when she shot him with a .22-caliber rifle in southeast Wyoming between Christmas Eve, 1974, and early February, 1975.

Uden's attorneys argue she acted in self-defense and to protect her 2-year-old daughter.

Investigators found Holtz's remains in an abandoned mine last summer.

Last fall, authorities arrested Alice Uden and her fourth and current husband, Gerald Uden, 71, in Missouri. Gerald Uden subsequently pleaded guilty and is serving life in prison for killing his ex-wife and her two children in central Wyoming in 1980.

Investigators haven't linked the two cases. Defense attorneys have asked Laramie County District Judge Steven Sharpe not to allow jurors to hear anything about Gerald Uden's case. As of Friday, Gerald Uden hadn't come up at Alice Uden's trial.

Uden met Holtz when she was a nurse at a Veterans Administration hospital in Sheridan, and Holtz, who'd been a helicopter gunner in Vietnam, was a psychiatric patient.

Uden's attorneys say Holtz became abusive soon after they married in September 1974, and Uden shot him in the back of the head when he was about to attack the little girl. Uden has three sons and two daughters from her first two marriages.

On Thursday and again Friday, prosecutors called Uden's daughter, Theresa Twyford, 55, of Naples, Illinois, to testify. Twyford said Friday her mother once told her, too, she shot Holtz as he slept.

The "matter of fact" conversation happened in Illinois, she said, where Twyford was living at the time in the 1970s. Both she and her mother had been drinking, she said.

"I don't remember any drama. I don't remember, really, any reaction. It just was," Twyford said.

Her mother also once told her that Holtz, following a car wreck in Illinois, had beat and kicked her on the side of the road, Twyford testified.

Scott testified that his conversation with his mother about Holtz's shooting happened as he was driving her home to Laramie from Buford, a remote town east of Laramie where Uden was a bartender.

Both of them were drinking during the drive, he said.

"She just, out of the blue, told me how she got up one night, got a .22, and shot Ron in the head," Scott said.

He said his mother told him a friend helped her dispose of Holtz's body in an abandoned gold mine on the Remount Ranch. Investigators have not named any accessories in the case.

The Remount Ranch is a small cattle outfit where Uden and her second husband, Donald Prunty, were caretakers in the early 1970s. Prunty died of natural causes in 1973.

The Remount Ranch is famous as the place where author Mary O'Hara wrote the 1941 children's novel, "My Friend Flicka." The book mentions a mine shaft where animal carcasses from the ranch were dumped.

Scott said he knew the mine his mother was talking about when she talked about disposing of Holtz's body because it was the same mine in the book.

Walking out of the courtroom after testifying, Scott muttered to his mother: "I hope it was all worth it."

Uden's attorney, Donald Miller, objected and Sharpe, who said he hadn't heard it, told the jury to disregard what Scott said.

Join the discussion

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crissie31 May 02 2014 at 8:50 PM

I thought it was just me having a hard time sorting out the characters in the article. Yesss, this article could've been written better. I'm walking away wondering how Holtz was a nurse and a patient at the VA. LOLOL!!!

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3 replies
Miss Melissa May 02 2014 at 10:51 PM

First and foremost-we do not know the full story which is very hard to decipher from this horrendously written article- whosever wrote it should get the boot.... What I get is Uden was married FOUR times.. had 3 sons and 2 daughters from the first two marriages.... this "little girl" was not Holtz's child. God knows what kind of person he might have been- it very well could have been self defense.. the details will come out in the trial- and this son who is spewing how much he hates his mother has some issues... why wait THIS long to call her out on it... is she dying and he just found out he's not going to get anything from her estate if there is one- same can be said for the daughter... who knows they could have been over 18, not even living in the house and may not have know there was abuse going on.... people should not pass judgement on things they know NOTHING of.... and for someone to comment " they were 'white' is just racist and ignorant!!!!!

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1 reply
JohnBoydStrother Miss Melissa May 03 2014 at 10:10 AM

the son was 13 years old, do the math.

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aledobears May 02 2014 at 10:57 PM

there is NO telling what this woman went through back then - if she had multiple husbands who all beat her...or even one...what was she SUPPOSED to do?? Back then, the law took the man's word for it 100% of the time...a woman dare not say ANYTHING out of line - God only knows how hard it was for Black women....wow -

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1 reply
poll100 aledobears May 03 2014 at 8:51 AM

It was the 70's women worked and had lives. It wasn't 1950.

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Queen Susan May 02 2014 at 11:00 PM

THE HORRIFIC EXCUSE OF A MOTHER BURDENED HER CHILDREN WITH HER HORRIBLE SECRET...Can anyone see that? She may have been abused...and he may have deserved it...but why would any mother burden her children with it?

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navycva11 May 02 2014 at 11:02 PM

Off to prison you go granny....

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eastedie May 02 2014 at 11:06 PM

I would have killed any man who beat or mistreated me. Women are punching bags for many men and today, a lot of us carry permitted weapons. When you live on acreage and the closet neighbor is 2 miles away, you take care of yourself then call the cops who get there in an hour & a half.

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1 reply
ilenedan2 eastedie May 02 2014 at 11:24 PM

How do you know that is what happened eastedie? Maybe he didn't mistreat her. Maybe he wasn't a psycho murderer like her and she didn't appreciate that, so she simply eliminated him for the insurance until her real Mr. Right came along- in this case Mr. Right being another psycho murderer who just like her also enjoyed killing his spouse (and threw in some babies for good measure).

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socsecman May 02 2014 at 11:08 PM

What a family! Good grief.

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1 reply
Franco socsecman May 02 2014 at 11:19 PM

They met on line, on a web site of relative killers. :O)

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1 reply
JohnBoydStrother Franco May 03 2014 at 10:06 AM

you seem to have an IQ of sigle digits. There was not anything online in the 70's except a telephone.

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Anthony May 02 2014 at 11:15 PM

Another mouth to feed, and provide health care for....

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1 reply
Tom Anthony May 02 2014 at 11:56 PM

Yes, the solution to poverty is to kill them. The same for the unemployed. That's the GOP plan to reduce unemployment. The answer to hunger is to starve the hungry. See you at the next birthers meeting.

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1 reply
Golden Saber Tom May 03 2014 at 12:46 AM

The diabolical plan you outlined is correct. NOW, you just need to expand your mind. It's MUCH bigger than the GOP or democratic party. Those two institutions are one in the same and merely puppets to the REAL powers behind the curtain that want just what you outlined so eloquently. Open your mind and keep digging. You're on the right path.

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Lou-Lou May 02 2014 at 11:16 PM

Good grief! I tried to follow this story and kept getting more mixed up......too late in the day, I guess, to follow this one....

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2 replies
Guam Betty Lou-Lou May 02 2014 at 11:42 PM

Same thing here---so confusing I got lost in the middle of it all!

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bshum3 Lou-Lou May 03 2014 at 12:17 AM

Classic story from aol/huff . No one hires editors or proofreaders anymore .

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Dorth May 02 2014 at 11:46 PM


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1 reply
Don Murphy Dorth May 03 2014 at 12:17 AM

Cut down on the caffeine and release your Caps Lock.

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