Las Vegas Sun

September 30, 2014

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Appeals denied for Tabish and Murphy in Binion case

CARSON CITY – Rick Tabish and Sandra R. Murphy, both convicted and then acquitted of the murder of former casino owner Ted Binion, are still going to have to serve their time in prison for stealing the silver collection of the Las Vegas gaming figure.

Tabish is currently serving a 10-year term in connection with the 1998 beating of Leo Casey at a sandpit in Jean. And he faces a one to five year term for burglary and larceny. Murphy was also sentenced to 1-5 years for the silver counts.

The Nevada Supreme Court has denied two appeals by Tabish, who is now 42years old, and is confined to the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Clark County. And it rejected the appeal of Murphy, now 36-years old.

The court said there was sufficient evidence that Tabish entered into an agreement with Murphy to commit burglary and larceny to steal the silver in a vault in Nye County.

The three-judge panel said it determined “that the issue of Tabish’s innocence or guilt on the silver counts is not close.”

The court also rejected his argument that new evidence would show he was innocent in the beating of Casey.

On the appeal from Murphy, the court split 2-1 on her argument there was insufficient evidence for a conviction. Justices Ron Parraguirre and Michael Douglas said there were sufficient facts showing that Murphy entered into an agreement with Tabish to commit burglary and larceny to steal the silver.

Justice James Hardesty dissented saying the prosecution “adducted insufficient evidence to support its contention that Murphy conspired with Tabish to steal Binion’s silver or that she possessed the specific intent to commit grand larceny and burglary.”

Murphy and Tabish were accused of suffocating Binion, 55, in September 1998. A day later Tabish tried to steal Binion’s silver in Pahrump. The defense claimed Binion died of an accidental overdose of heroin.

The couple initially was convicted of murder but the Supreme Court ordered a new trial. They were acquitted at the second trial.

Murphy was sentenced by District Judge Joseph Bonaventure in March 2005. Records in the state Department of Corrections said her sentence is under review.

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected. The original story had Benny Binion's name, rather than Ted Binion's. Ted Binion was a casino owner and the son of famed casino owner Benny Binion.

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