Sat. May 25th, 2024

Nevada ‘black widower’ Thomas Randolph, convicted again of murdering 6th wife, hit man

Thomas Randolph found guilty in retrial for 2008 murders of Sharon Causse, hit man Michael Miller

After 15 years, an overturned death sentence and a retrial, a Nevada jury found Thomas Randolph guilty of orchestrating his sixth wife’s murder and shooting dead the apparent hit man he hired to kill her.

Jurors on Thursday convicted Randolph, 68, of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of murder with use of a deadly weapon after five hours of deliberation, per court proceedings aired by Court TV.

Randolph, who uses a wheelchair and was aided by headphones for the hard-of-hearing, stared straight ahead and was emotionless when the verdict was read.Colleen Beyer, daughter of Randolph’s sixth wife, Sharon Causse, gasped and clasped her hands to her mouth when Randolph was found guilty for the second time, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

ALLEGED ‘BLACK WIDOWER’ ACCUSED OF MURDERING 6TH WIFE, APPARENT HIT MAN

Thomas Randolph was convicted a second time for the murders of sixth wife Sharon Causse and hired hit man Michael Miller last Thursday. He is pictured receiving his 2017 death sentence for the same crime, which was overturned.

“I’m so relieved, it’s unbelievable,” Beyer told the outlet. “It’s been 15 years, and it’s been a twisted nightmare.”

“I’m absolutely ecstatic and thrilled and relieved that he’s off the streets – that he cannot do this to another woman again,” she said teary-eyed outside the courtroom. “Because he’s a predator, he’s a serious predator.”

On May 8, 2008, Randolph dialed 911 and told operators that a masked home intruder shot Causse, per court documents. After shooting the man dead, Randolph told police, he recognized him as his friend and handyman, Michael Miller, 38.

But using phone records, prosecutors detailed Randolph’s extensive relationship with Miller in court last week and during the accused killer’s previous 2017 trial, citing hundreds of phone calls between the pair.

At both his most recent trial and 2017 murder trial, prosecutors alleged that Randolph arranged for Miller to kill his wife so that he could collect more than $300,000 in insurance money, pointing out insurance policies he took out on her life in the two years before her death.

The killing would become the subject of Dateline’s 2021 miniseries “The Widower.”

But the Nevada Supreme Court overturned Randolph’s prior conviction and death sentence in 2020, arguing that the Clark County District Court should not have allowed jurors to hear “prior bad-act evidence” involving his 1986 Utah arrest for the death of his second wife, Becky Gault, for which he was acquitted.

Colleen Beyer hugs a woman in court

Colleen Beyer is pictured hugging a woman at Thomas Randolph’s 2017 trial. She told news outlets she was relieved after he was found guilty again last week and glad this “twisted nightmare” was over. (Patrick Connolly / Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP / File)

Four of Randolph’s six wives are deceased – fifth wife Leona Stapleton died of cancer, per testimony from her family in the previous trial, and fourth wife Francis Randolph died during heart surgery in 2004. Another man told jurors that Randolph had offered to pay him to kill Francis before her death on the operating table and that he had suggested that the death be staged as a burglary.

Living ex-wife Gayna Allmon testified that she believed Randolph was trying to kill her when a bullet from his gun struck the kitchen wall behind her while he was cleaning his weapon during their marriage; first wife Kathryn Thomas detailed his alleged psychologically abusive behavior.

But prosecutors were relegated to evidence that strictly dealt with the 2008 investigation into the murders of Causse and Miller.

The state pointed out inconsistencies in Randolph’s story to police, which included a video walkthrough of the house that he shared with Causse, led by Randolph and shared with jurors this month.

Thomas Randolph is pictured before his death penalty sentence was handed down in 2017. That conviction was overturned in 2020. (Patrick Connolly / Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP / File)

An inconsistently small amount of evidence was found in the hallway where the alleged shooting took place, prosecutors said, and the trajectory of the bullets that killed Miller did not match Randolph’s retelling.

Randolph “offered to do anything else but help [Causse]” while a 911 dispatcher urged him to do chest compressions on her body, prosecutors said.

But his attorney, Josh Tomsheck, argued that this characterization was unfair.

“He wanted her to have medical aid – he was the only one who did it,” he said in his closing arguments last Wednesday. “There’s that silence after you hear the clearing of the house, there’s a silence. … Tommy is outside, and he’s wondering … complaining about [how long it is taking] law enforcement [to respond].”

“They didn’t go in to help her,” Tomsheck continued. “The only person who gave her aid was [Randolph] – he tried in vain. You can see there is nothing that could be done.”

Defense attorneys argued that police ignored evidence that Miller acted alone and zeroed in on Randolph unfairly based on his previous arrest in Utah. The crime scene was not properly preserved, they argued, and Randolph should not be expected to accurately retell every detail of the traumatic confrontation in repeated police interviews.

But Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Hamner told jurors that Randolph was “not a victim” in this case but rather “a villain.”

“It’s really, really hard to plan a perfect murder – now that you have the evidence, you can see that [Randolph] failed – because his story doesn’t add up,” Hamner said. “It doesn’t add up with what you physically see at the scene … when you see the insurance policies … it doesn’t add up in the manner in which he discusses his wife [or] … when you start thinking about his relationship with Michael Miller.”

Randolph’s version of events, Hamner said, is “not proved by other evidence” but instead “contradicted” and even “repelled” by evidence.

“I know we did everything that we could,” Tomsheck told Court TV, adding that Randolph’s defense “did everything [they] could” although they were “hoping for a different verdict.”

His office did not respond for comment at press time.

District Judge Tierra Jones is scheduled to sentence Randolph during a hearing on Oct. 12. source


NV v. Thomas Randolph: ‘The Widower’ Murder Trial

Nevada Supreme Court ruled that prior-bad-act evidence used in the trial may have tainted the jury’s objectivity.

LAS VEGAS (Court TV) — A Nevada man has been convicted for a second time for the 2008 shooting deaths of his wife and the hitman he allegedly conspired with to kill her.

After nearly five hours of deliberations, jurors convicted Thomas Randolph of conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of murder with use of a deadly weapon.

Thomas Randolph was first sentenced to death in 2017 for the murders of his sixth wife, Sharon Randolph, and hitman Michael Miller. His conviction was overturned in 2021, after the state’s highest court found the district court abused its discretion in admitting prior-bad-act evidence at trial.

thomas randolph appears in court

In this Wednesday, July 5, 2017 photo, Thomas Randolph walks into the courtroom before he was sentenced to death by jurors during the penalty phase of his murder trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. (Patrick Connolly/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

Randolph’s case was the focus of the Dateline docuseries “The Widower.” The defendant was married six times, and “four of his wives died under mysterious circumstances,” reported Oxygen. Outside of his Nevada conviction, Randolph was once a suspect in the 1986 death of his second wife, Becky Gault, in Utah. He was acquitted of all charges in Gault’s death in 1988.

During his first Nevada trial, prosecutors relied heavily on evidence from the Utah trial, including testimony from the man Randolph allegedly tried to recruit to kill Gault.

According to court documents, on the evening of May 8, 2008, Randolph called 911 to report that a masked intruder shot his sixth wife and that he shot and killed the intruder. Randolph recognized the intruder as 38-year-old Michael Miller, a person he befriended a few months before and with whom prosecutors say he developed an extensive, secretive relationship.

A Clark County jury convicted Randolph of murder and conspiracy charges in June 2017 for the deaths of Michael Miller and Sharon Randolph and recommended two death sentences. After his conviction was overturned in 2021, the case was remanded for a new trial, setting the State for a do-over.

Randolph’s sentencing is scheduled for October 12, 2023.

DAILY TRIAL UPDATES

DAY 10 – 8/24/23

DAY 9 – 8/23/23

DAY 8 – 8/22/23

  • The state rested.
  • The defense began their case.

DAY 7 – 8/21/23

  • The lead detective on the case took the stand.
  • The jury heard another interview Randolph did with detectives on June 3, 2008. His demeanor appeared casual.
  • Part of Randolph’s June 3, 2008 police interview was not redacted and the jurors heard that Randolph was previously married to Becky. After the jurors left, the attorneys discussed where to pick back up in the video after updating their redactions. The attorneys will keep what was already played, but the jury will not hear the rest of the answer. A new exhibit with the updated redactions will be made before the exhibits go back with the jury.

DAY 6 – 8/18/23

  • The state showed autopsy photos of Sharon and Miller to the jury.
  • A now-retired senior crime scene analyst visited the scene about a week after the incident and noted evidence that wasn’t initially found by crime scene analysts the night of the incident.

DAY 5 – 8/17/23

  • The court voir dire-d the jurors about one incident regarding a security guard making a comment about, if they were on a case about a politician, vote guilty and another incident on the elevator where a person with a blazer carrying files asked if they were department 10 jurors. In both instances, jurors ignored these comments. No jurors were dismissed.
  • The jury heard from Michael Miller’s family.
  • Items from the crime scene were tested for blood and DNA.
  • WATCH: ‘The Widower’ Murder Trial: Day 5

DAY 4 – 8/16/23

  • The jury heard from the state’s firearms expert.
  • The jury learned that between December 20, 2007 – June 2, 2008, Randolph called Miller an average of 2.7 calls a day.
  • The jury looked at crime scene photos.
  • WATCH: ‘The Widower’ Murder Trial: Day 4

DAY 3 – 8/15/23

  • The jury witnessed Randolph do a walkthrough video with law enforcement.
  • At the end of Det. Mogg’s testimony, one of the juror’s asked, if at any point during Det. Mogg’s interactions with Randolph, if Randolph cried. Det. Mogg said no. The defense noted in a follow-up question that Randolph was screaming in the 911 call and Det. Mogg agreed.
  • The jury listened to Randolph’s 911 call.
  • WATCH: ‘The Widower’ Murder Trial: Day 3

DAY 2 – 8/14/23

  • The jury saw several photos of Sharon and Thomas Randolph during one of their weddings.
  • Elizabeth Lavadour, who was seeing Thomas when he was with Sharon, testified.
  • Det. Clifford Mogg’s initial interview with Thomas the night of May 8, 2008 played out for the jury.
  • WATCH: ‘The Widower’ Murder Trial: Day 2

DAY 1 – 8/11/23

source


Thomas Randolph found guilty again in re-trial over killing of wife, alleged hitman

Thomas Randolph appears in court

A jury has once again found Thomas Randolph guilty of plotting the death of his wife and the person he allegedly hired to kill her 15 years ago, after the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the original conviction and sentencing.

The jury returned a guilty verdict Thursday in the second trial for Randolph on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 12.

Randolph reported back in 2008 that an intruder shot and killed his wife, and that he shot and killed the intruder.

He was arrested for both killings, with prosecutors alleging that he enlisted a friend to kill his wife so he could collect her life insurance.

Prosecutors also presented at trial that Randolph was accused of the death of his second wife in Utah in 1986, and he was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to death.

The Nevada Supreme Court reversed that conviction in 2020, however, ruling that the Clark County District Court should not have allowed “prior-bad-act evidence” to be admitted. Randolph was remanded to a new trial as a result. source


Opinion Summary

The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s conviction of conspiring with a hitman to have his sixth wife murdered during a staged burglary and then murdering the hitman, holding that the district court abused its discretion in admitting certain prior bad act evidence.

At issue was the admission of events surrounding the death of Defendant’s second wife. On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence was inadmissible under Nev. Rev. Stat. 48.045(2). The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the danger of unfair prejudice substantially outweighed any probative value of the disputed evidence, and the district court abused its discretion by allowing its admission; and (2) the error in admitting the prior bad act evidence was not harmless. The Court remanded the matter for a new trial.