Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ted Binion


On Monday, March 27, 2000, a long line of people filed through the metal detectors on the first floor of the Clark County Courthouse at Third Avenue and Carson Street in downtown Las Vegas to try and claim a seat in the Honorable Judge Joseph T. Bonaventures courtroom.  Court TV had its cameras set up in the courtroom, as did a local television station, so that the world could experience a courtroom drama that would ultimately play out better than a Perry Mason episode.

Stewart Bell
Stewart Bell (Clark County District Attorney's Office)

Over the next two months, the jury heard the sordid details of Sandy Murphys affair with Rick Tabish, the details of how Tabish was in need of money, how Sandy told others that Ted would soon be dead of a drug overdose, of the robbery of Binions vault in Pahrump of some $7 million in silver, and of romantic trysts in posh Beverly Hills hotels.

Although the two defendants had some of the best attorneys in town, the jurors would not be convinced by the defense attorneys that Tabish and Murphy were innocent.  On Friday afternoon, May 19, 2000, the jury returned to Judge Bonaventures courtroom and announced that they had rendered a verdict after eight long days of deliberations. Their verdict had come as a shock and a surprise to many, and as a relief to others.  They had found Tabish and Murphy guilty on all counts.  Although Tabish hung his head when the verdicts were being read, neither he nor Murphy showed much emotion at the outcome.  On Friday, September 15, 2000, Judge Bonaventure sentenced Murphy and Tabish to life prison terms on a variety of charges for which they were convicted.  All in all, Murphy would be required to serve a minimum of twenty-two years in prison and Tabish would have to serve a minimum of twenty-six years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.  Both have said that they would appeal their convictions.

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