Ex-SD police chief gets life term in fiancee's 2009 killing | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy
4.1°C

Ex-SD police chief gets life term in fiancee's 2009 killing

FILE- In this Sept. 14, 2016, photo, Russell Bertram, a former police chief in South Dakota, is escorted into the Gregory County Courthouse in Burke, S.D., by Deputy Chelsea Biehl for the first day of oral arguments in his murder trial. Bertram was sentenced on Tuesday, Nov. 22, to life in prison without parole in the death of his pregnant fiancee in 2009. (Jake Shama/The Daily Republic via AP)
November 22, 2016 - 2:24 PM

BURKE, S.D. - A former South Dakota police chief has been sentenced to life in prison without parole in the death of his pregnant fiancee in 2009.

Russell Bertram, who was chief in Harrisburg, received the punishment Tuesday. A jury found him guilty of first-degree murder earlier this year.

Authorities accused the 64-year-old Bertram of fatally shooting 26-year-old Leonila Stickney to collect more than $900,000 in insurance money. They say jealousy was also a factor because Bertram had undergone a vasectomy and knew the child couldn't be his.

Bertram was not charged until last year. Stickney's estranged husband received a letter after her death from a life insurance company that was processing a claim from Bertram. He then contacted authorities, setting in motion an investigation that led to a murder charge.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile