LAS VEGAS SUN FILE
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 | 3:31 p.m.
Rick Tabish, once convicted and later acquitted of the murder of Las Vegas casino figure Ted Binion, has been granted parole.
David Smith, a spokesman for the state Parole Board, said Tabish, 44, would be freed from prison when he submits an approved plan on how he would function after he's released. He would also need to be accepted by the state of Montana -- the state where his family lives and where he has requested to go.
Tabish and his girlfriend, Sandra Murphy, were convicted of drugging and then suffocating Binion, a son of Las Vegas gambling pioneer Benny Binion. Following the highly publicized trial, Tabish received a 25-year to life term and Murphy got a 22-year to life sentence.
The Nevada Supreme Court in 2003 ordered a new trial. And at the second trial they were acquitted of the murder charges but convicted of grand larceny and burglary in connection with the removal of Binion's silver fortune from a vault in the desert near Pahrump.
Binion was found dead in his Las Vegas home in September 1998. Authorities first said it was an apparent suicide from a drug overdose, but later reversed course and charged Tabish and Murphy with his murder. The prosecution contended the two had drugged Binion and then strangled him.
Binion, according to authorities, had a drug problem and in 1996 was banned from entering the family's casino, Binion's Horseshoe. His state gaming license had been revoked.
He built a deep vault in the desert floor west of Las Vegas to store silver. There were reportedly six tons of silver bullion, casino chips, paper currency and more than 100,000 rare coins.
Binion hooked up with Murphy, a topless club dancer who became his live-in girlfriend. But she got close to Tabish and authorities accused them of planning the death and robbery.
After the second trial, Murphy was sentenced to time served in prison. Tabish received 12-60 months each on the burglary and grand larceny charges and 18-60 months on a deadly weapons charge.
Tabish had been held at the state prison in Ely. He had four previous parole hearings and was granted release after the hearing on Jan. 13.