Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ted Binion

New Chapter - The Old "One-Two"

Drs. Baden and Simms previously testified that blister-like marks on Binions chest were, likely caused by shirt buttons, which could have been pressed into his skin during a struggle. However, a dermatologist contradicted their professional opinions, saying the marks were more probably caused by dermatitis. Furthermore, Tabishs lawyer suggested that it was unlikely that the buttons caused the marks because there were too many layers of shirt material between them and Binions skin. The attacks made on the forensic pathologists theories proved to be damaging to the prosecutions case. However, the prosecution trudged forward offering more witnesses that supported their argument.

Jurors heard testimony from Nye County Sheriff Officer Ed Howard, who discovered Tabish, Michael David Milot and David Lee Mattsen in the act of emptying out Binions vault full of silver in September 1998. According to OConnells November 5th Court TV article, Howard said that when he caught Tabish in the act, he tried to convince him that he was securing the silver for Binions daughter. Howard testified that Tabish told him he was with Binion on the day he died, which was the first time he had been placed with Binion on the day in question.

In their final bid to prove their case, the prosecution called on several more witnesses, one of whom was a former business partner and friend of Tabishs named Jason Frazer. Frazer made a startling admission when he told jurors that he tried to bribe people with $2,000 for providing false alibis for Tabish on the day of Binions death, OConnell stated.  Frazer testified that Tabish asked him to bribe the people as a favor to him.

It was also reported that Tabish asked Frazer to meet with a man known as Ishma who was charged with producing witnesses that would testify that Binion family investigator, Tom Dillard, was paying witnesses for the prosecution. The testimony was believed to have caused considerable damage to the defense's case. The prosecution intended to make as big an impact as possible on the jurors as they wrapped up their case.

Five weeks into the trial, the defense team got its chance to call its own witnesses. One of the first to take the stand was a forensic pathologist who criticized Dr. Badens burking theory and argued that all medical reports pointed to Binions death as an accident. Following his testimony, yet another forensic pathologist with similar views took the stand, claiming that all the evidence pointed to a drug overdose. It was clear that the defense's primary strategy was to discredit the prosecutions medical experts and create doubt that Binions death was a murder. Their tactics were proving to be successful.

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