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October 20, 2014

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Murphy suing state for malicious prosecution in Binion case

Lawsuit seeks to have felony record wiped clean

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Sandy Murphy

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Ted Binion

Sandra Murphy, known for her conviction and eventual acquittal in the death of her boyfriend and Las Vegas casino executive Ted Binion, is suing the state for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

She’s also seeking her designation as a felon be wiped clean.

In a lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court on Tuesday, Murphy claims she has been “rejected for numerous opportunities for employment for which she would otherwise be qualified” because she is considered a felon.

In the suit, she claims her lawyer failed to call a Nye County sheriff’s deputy who testified at a preliminary hearing on Aug. 23, 1999, to testify at trial — testimony she claims would have led jurors to a different verdict.

In the suit, she doesn’t specify which of her two trials she’s referring to.

Murphy says her constitutional rights to effective counsel and to due process were violated by her attorney’s failure to ask Huggins to testify. She also claims to have been the victim of unfair prosecution.

She says Huggins knew about a conversation involving her co-defendant, her lover Richard Tabish, and former Nye County Sheriff Wade Lieseke. She says that what they talked about indicated Tabish had permission to take silver from Binion’s stash after he died.

In 2000, Murphy and Tabish were convicted on murder and burglary charges in the death of Binion and of taking silver from the vault. The Nevada Supreme Court later granted a new trial, during which Tabish and Murphy were ultimately convicted on burglary charges but acquitted of murder.

Murphy is asking for her criminal conviction to be cleared and is seeking punitive damages in excess of $50,000. She represented herself in the filing and lists an address in Laguna Beach, Calif.

Efforts to reach Murphy by phone were unsuccessful.

Murphy was sentenced to one to five years in prison for her role in taking the silver collection of Binion that was buried in a vault in the desert near Pahrump. After the second trial, she was released for time served.

Tabish remains incarcerated at Ely State Prison. A parole hearing is set for Jan. 26.

The state Attorney General’s office said it hasn’t been served with the lawsuit.

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