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Former Police Chief Charged With First Degree Murder

The former Harrisburg police chief has been indicted on a first degree murder charge.

A Gregory County grand jury indicted 63 year old Russell Ray Bertram on charges that he murdered his fiancé Leonila Stickney in 2009.  

Shortly after the incident investigators stated Stickney was shot during a hunting accident.   But this grand jury indictment alleges the shooting was not accidental.  

The State Attorney General Marty Jackley says this is a cold case that turned around thanks to continued work of investigators.

 “This has been a cold case that law enforcement has continued to work continued to talk to witnesses continued to look at forensic science and well as medical evidence and has reached a point where investigators felt that a case should be presented to a grand jury and the grand jury has issued the indictment for first degree murder,” says Jackley.

Jackely says Bertram is presumed innocent.   If he is found guilty he faces a mandatory life sentence or the death penalty.