Ex-Chicago attorney charged in wife's murder free after posting huge bail

ABC7 I-Team Investigation

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Thursday, October 6, 2016
Murder suspect free on bond after coming up with $400K
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Donnie Rudd was held on $4 million bond for allegedly killing his teen bride in 1973.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A murder suspect being held on $4 million bond came up with the money and is out of jail.

Donnie Rudd was held for allegedly killing his teen bride in 1973. It took him 9 months to come up with the bail money, but the required cut of his $4 million bond was posted last month and he's been out of Cook County Jail since.

Forty-three years have come and gone since Noreen Kumeta was buried. She was just 19 years old, married only 27 days, when she died in a Barrington Hills intersection, which at the time was ruled an accident. After her body was exhumed in 2013, it became a homicide.

Last December, the once-prominent and then disbarred Illinois attorney Donny Rudd was arrested in Texas where he had moved, long after his short-lived marriage to Noreen.

On Christmas Eve, local news sites showed the couple's picture and reported that he was ordered held on $4 million bond. Prosecutors said he was after her life insurance payout.

"The victim and the defendant would have had to have been married in order for him to have been the beneficiary on these payouts. Nineteen-year-old Noreen Rudd had taken out the maximum policy of $100,000," Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Maria McCarthy said.

Rudd's jail release obtained by the I-Team reveals that $400,000 was posted last month by a woman listed as a friend of his and he was freed.

Prosecutors said Rudd is also "chief suspect" in a 1991 murder of one of his clients, Lauretta "Teri" Tabak-Bodtke, who was found shot to death in her Arlington Heights home. Her family is livid about Rudd's release.

"I'm very concerned about my sister and Karen, which is the sister of the other murdered woman that Donnie Rudd had killed. And yes, I'm very concerned. My safety, yes I'm worried," said Pater Tabak, her son.

Rudd's attorney Tim Grace said the accused murderer has a right to reasonable bail, is compliant with all the terms of his bail and said Rudd has cooperated with authorities from the beginning.

Rudd's passport has been turned over to authorities as ordered, according to his attorney, who says they are also trying to locate an inoperable .22-caliber rifle that Rudd owns, which may be in Texas. Both of those items are elements of his release on bond.