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Missouri man enters plea agreement in 1980 Wyoming slayings

Updated: 2013-10-25T02:34:08Z

The Associated Press

— A Missouri man has agreed to plead guilty to three counts of murder in the 1980 shooting deaths of his ex-wife and her two children in Wyoming.

Gerald Lee Uden, 71, and his current wife had lived quietly near Chadwick in rural southwestern Missouri for years until recently, when prosecutors charged each of them with first-degree murder in separate Wyoming cases dating back several decades.

Gerald Uden, who worked as a truck driver while living in Missouri, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole under the agreement filed Thursday. Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

A judge hasn’t yet approved the agreement.

Defense lawyer Sky Phifer of Lander, Wyo., declined to comment on the agreement, which Uden signed Wednesday. In it, he agreed to plead guilty to charges that he murdered his ex-wife, 32-year-old Virginia Uden, and her two children, Richard Uden, 12, and Reagan Uden, 10.

Gerald Uden had adopted the boys while he was married to Virginia Uden. The mother and her sons were last seen in Fremont County, in central Wyoming, in 1980.

According to an affidavit, Gerald Uden confessed to an investigator at his home in Missouri that he had picked up the three on Sept. 13, 1980, and driven them to a spot to go bird hunting. He said he shot the three with a .22-caliber rifle.

Uden’s current wife, Alice Louise Uden, 74, has been arrested in the death of a former husband, 25-year-old Ronald Holtz, who disappeared in 1974 or 1975. The couple had married in September 1974. His remains were found recently in an abandoned mine in Laramie County in southeast Wyoming.

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