SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The wife of a former South Dakota police chief says she is pleased a jury convicted her husband in the death of her sister, to whom he was engaged at the time of the slaying.
Melliza Del Balle tells The Associated Press she and her family were "happy" to hear Monday evening that Russell Bertram was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 slaying of her pregnant sister Leonila (lee-oh-NEE'-luh) Stickney.
Prosecutors in the trial against the 64-year-old Bertram argued the case involved jealousy and $900,000 in insurance benefits, while the defense team said a shotgun had fired accidentally.
After Stickney's death, Bertram traveled to the Philippines and married Del Balle, who has filed for divorce, citing "extreme cruelty," according to court records.
She says the divorce hasn't been finalized.