Pathology Expert Witness Payment Allowed to Come from Bond

The court in a high-profile 45 year old Cook County Illinois murder case ruled that  payment for a Pathology Expert Witness could come fro a defendant’s bond.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the defendant who is accused of first degree murder can to withdraw money from his $400,000 bond fund in order to pay for an expert witness at his upcoming trial.

Donnie Rudd, who is now 76, was once a prominent Illinois attorney.  Now Rudd is charged with murdering his wife for insurance money in 1973.  The state alleges that Rudd staged an auto accident to cover the murder.  His wife Noreen Kumeta Rudd was nineteen years old at the time.

Rudd claimed that he had no other source of funds to pay for the pathology expert witness.  That expert will be asked to counter the prosecutors’ claim that Ms. Rudd was murdered.  After Rudd posted the bond, he claimed he was destitute, and could not afford the $25,000 for the expert.

Prosecutors argued that in a previous hearing, Rudd had not been truthful about the amount of money he had.  They pointed out that Rudd had claimed that he could only post $50,000 for a bond.  However, he was able to post $400,000, which was 10% of his four million dollar bail.

The pathology expert witnesses in the case will be asked to opine on the position of the decedent’s body at the time of her death.   Originally ruled an accident, investigators opened the cold case when investigating the murder of another Illinois worman.  In that 1991 case, Donnie Rudd is also a suspect.

Ms. Rudd’s body was exhumed, and two state retained pathologists concluded that her death was a homicide.  Authorities arrested Rudd in 2015.

In allowing the expert’s fee to be paid out of the bond, the court stressed that it wanted to maintain balance between the two sides.

The murder trial is scheduled to begin in late June, 2018.