Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ted Binion

New Chapter - Potentially Ruinous Testimony

The prosecution presented several other witnesses that brought forth critical evidence aimed at shaking the defense's case, including testimony from Binions lawyer, one of Tabishs former business associates, the forensic pathologist who investigated Binions death and the world-renown forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden. Binions lawyer, Tom Standish, made a startling admission when he told the court that his millionaire client had previous knowledge that he would die prematurely. Not long before his death, Binion allegedly told Standish that, if anything were to happen to him, it meant he died because someone was coming after his money, Sweetingham reported in an October 22nd Court TV article. Binion was referring to his stash of $7 million worth of silver bars, which he kept hidden in a dessert vault.

Binion apparently made it clear to those he trusted that upon his death they were to remove the silver and distribute it as he wished. However, he feared that one of his closest friends might deceive him and go after the money, even if that meant killing him. The prosecution presented more witnesses that supported their contention that the defendants were the very people who fulfilled Binions gruesome prophecy.

Sweetingham reported that one of Tabishs former business associates, Leo Casey, said Tabish told him he was having a sexual relationship with Murphy, which was going to be a big benefit to him to get the silver. Moreover Casey testified that Tabish said he was going to drug Binion and then kill him so that he could get hold of the silver. Caseys testimony was followed by even more damaging testimony supplied by Clark County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Larry Simms.

Simms testified that he investigated the manner in which Binion died and concluded that his death was indeed a murder. He based his evidence on abrasions and bruises found on Binions back, knee, chest and wrists. It was speculated that the marks on his body were defensive wounds made when he was purportedly forced to take the drugs. Sweetingham stated in another Court TV article from October 25th that Simms found vascular congestion and discoloration under Binions eyelids, which suggested that he likely died of asphyxiation, suffocation or strangulation, although there was no sign of trauma to his throat, lips or vocal cords.

Dr. Michael Baden gave testimony that supported Simms theory, stating that based on medical reports and case files it was likely that Binion was murdered by asphyxiation and not a drug overdose. Baden suggested that there were not enough drugs in his system to induce death. Instead, he said that the scrapes and bruises on his body indicated that he died from burking, a method of murder that involved one person applying intense pressure to the victims chest while another obstructed his breathing, Sweetingham reported in an October 26th article.

Dr. Baden spent approximately five hours on the stand while defense attorneys took turns cross-examining him. They methodically attacked Badens credibility suggesting that his burking theory was unlikely and that all evidence pointed to a drug overdose. Subsequently the defense introduced the testimony of several experts whose medical conclusions directly conflicted with that of Simms and Badens.

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