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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Bertram Convicted for Murder by Gregory County Jury

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley and Gregory County States Attorney Amy Bartling announced today that a Gregory County jury has returned a guilty verdict finding Russell Ray Bertram, 63, Sioux Falls, guilty of first degree murder.

“The jury returned a verdict in a case that could have likely gone unsolved but for the hard work of investigators and prosecutors,” said Jackley.  “Russell Bertram took the life of his fiancé, while claiming the death was a result of an accidental shooting with the hopes of collecting over $900,000 worth of insurance money.  Bertram’s callous disregard for Leonila and his failure to show any sorrow or remorse are evident and unfortunate.”

Charges stem from an alleged hunting accident in October 2009, taking the life of his fiancé, Leonila Stickney, then age 26.


The case was investigated by the Division of Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by the Gregory County States Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office