- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A grand jury in southern South Dakota has indicted a 63-year-old man who has served as a police chief on a first-degree murder charge.

Attorney General Marty Jackley’s office said Wednesday that if Russell Ray Bertram of Sioux Falls is convicted, he faces the death penalty or a mandatory life sentence.

Authorities say Bertram in 2009 killed Leonila Stickney, who was his 26-year-old fiance.

At the time, the Gregory County Sheriff’s office said authorities believed Stickney’s death was the result of an accidental shooting.

A spokeswoman for Jackley says the case was forwarded to state investigators as a cold case and the discovery of additional evidence led to Bertram’s arrest.

Bertram served as police chief of Harrisburg and as a police officer.

Court records don’t list an attorney for Bertram.


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