Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ted Binion

New Chapter - On the Defense

The defense team briefly interrupted the attack on the prosecutions medical experts just long enough to hear testimony from Tabish. In Sweetinghams November 15th Court TV article, he stated that he received permission from the Nye County sheriff to excavate the silver vault he had built for Binion that summer and that Binion trusted him to dig up the fortune and protect it for his daughter if anything ever happened to him. Tabish also denied previous allegations that he bribed people to testify on his behalf and that he plotted to murder Binion and steal his money for his own benefit.  

Not long following Tabishs testimony, jurors got a chance to hear from Ramon Owens a.k.a. Ishma. While on the stand, Owens testified that he indeed attempted to pay people off to provide false testimony for Tabish, whom he befriended while incarcerated at the Clark County detention Center five years earlier. His testimony supported Frazers story, which in turn weakened the defense case. However, it didnt weaken it as much as the prosecution had hoped it would.

Several days later, the defense and prosecution made their closing arguments. The jury deliberated for approximately 19 hours before returning their verdict. To the shock of many, Murphy and Tabish were acquitted of all murder charges citing a lack of medical evidence, Sweetingham reported in a November 23rd Court TV article.

However, even though they escaped murder charges, they were found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary and grand larceny for plotting to steal Binions money. After the verdict was handed down, Murphy wept for joy and Tabish smiled with relief that the murder charges were dropped. Ted Binions family sat in disbelief, likely trying to determine what went wrong with the prosecutions case.

In a November 23rd Court TV article, Sweetingham suggested that according to the jury, the prosecution was not able to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants suffocated Binion. They believed that he actually died from accidentally overdosing on drugs. The verdict was a far cry from that handed down in 2000, which found them guilty of murder.

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