Galberth faces murder charge

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Bridgeport man accused of murdering his wife on the driveway of their Brookside home has been indicted by a grand jury.

The grand jury returned an indictment of aggravated murder with a gun specification and possession of weapons under disability against Rudolph Galberth, 37, of 11 Driggs Lane. Galberth was considered “under disability” from possessing a gun because he was on parole for another offense in West Virginia. He will be arraigned July 19 at Belmont County Common Pleas Court. He faces first- and third-degree felonies.

Belmont County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan said the gun specification would mean a sentence of three years if convicted, while the aggravated murder charge carried a life sentence.

Galberth’s bond remains at $1 million.

Charges stem from an incident July 15, when neighbors reported hearing gunfire in the early morning. Law enforcement arrived on-scene at the Driggs Lane address to discover that Amy Butler, 37, had been shot to death. The investigators covered her body with a tent while they examined the scene. According to the Belmont County Prosecutor’s Office, Butler and Galberth were married and residing at that location.

Galberth was arrested without incident later that day on Interstate 77 near New Philadelphia.

Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry was not available for further comment, but police have said they believe the fatal shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute that escalated to deadly violence.

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