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Las Vegas murder – juror's Palm Pilot misconduct

The Mob, money, topless dancers and PDAs

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Two convicted Las Vegas murderers may get a retrial after a juror allegedly read details of the case courtesy of a Palm Pilot.

The case - your everyday Las Vegas tale of a dead casino magnate, $15 million in buried bullion, a topless dancer lover, the Mob and a drug overdose - was last week hit by allegations of juror misconduct. And lawyers for Rick Tabish and Sandra Murphy - convicted of murdering millionaire casino owner Ted Binion - are threatening to demand a new trial, according to the Observer.

Tabish and Murphy were found guilty of Binion's murder in May, around two years after the millionaire was found dead in his Las Vegas home. He died due to a drug overdose and suffocation.

Murphy was a topless dancer and the millionaire's live-in girlfriend. Her and Tabish, her lover, were also found guilty of robbing Binion - and $15 million worth of silver coins are still believed to be buried somewhere in the wilds of deepest Nevada.

However, the defence for the case is due to tell a Clark County court that jurors acted improperly - and that at least one saw information that may have affected their decision on the case. According to allegations by a female juror, a fellow juror read press reports of the case on the Web via her handheld Palm Pilot.

Defence lawyers plan to subpoena the jury to try and confirm the claims.

A further twist involves an alleged FBI report about a Mob plot to bump off Binion. The report, dated April 1999, refers to the Mob murder of "Fat" Herby Blitstein in 1997. It suggests the Mob chief who hired the hitman to kill Blitstein spoke to the same person about killing Binion. The murder plan showed similarities to the death of Binion, and involved a plan to make it appear like a drug overdose.

Murphy's attorney, John Momot, claims he saw the report by accident via a colleague, but says he should have been alerted to the document before the trial. ®

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