December 16, 2009 - 4:25 pm
Sandy Murphy, the one-time girlfriend of late gaming executive Ted Binion, has filed a lawsuit against the state alleging malicious prosecution.
Murphy, representing herself, was convicted along with Rick Tabish of murder in the September 1998 death of Binion, who authorities initially believed died of a drug overdose in his home.
But two days later, sheriff’s deputies caught Tabish and two other men digging up Binion’s silver stash near Pahrump.
Tabish and Murphy were convicted in 2000 of murdering Binion in a conspiracy to steal his silver and prevent him from cutting Murphy out of his will. They each received sentences requiring them to spend at least 22 years in prison, but those convictions were overturned in 2003 by the Nevada Supreme Court.
A second jury in 2004 acquitted them of the murder charges but upheld the charges in connection with the silver theft.
Murphy was released for time served.
Last year, the Supreme Court refused to reconsider an earlier decision upholding her conviction on charges related to the theft.
In her lawsuit filed late Tuesday, which lists the state as the sole defendant, Murphy claims she is the victim of false arrest and imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
She seeks at least $100,000 on those claims and $50,000 in punitive damages.
Murphy argues that former Nye County Sheriff Wade Lieseke told former Nye County detective Steve Huggins that Tabish had his authority to take the silver bullion and rare coin collection, valued at around $7 million.
Lieseke has denied the allegation.
Murphy did not return a phone call seeking comment placed to her job in Laguna Beach, Calif.