LAS VEGAS (TCD) — A man previously convicted and sentenced to death is back on trial for allegedly playing a role in his wife’s death and the supposed hit man he hired to kill her.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Thomas Randolph’s retrial began Friday, Aug. 11, and he is being charged with two counts of murder and conspiracy for the 2008 deaths of Sharon Randolph and Thomas Miller. He was originally convicted in 2017 and given the death penalty.
Randolph was accused of killing his second wife, Becky, in 1986, but he was found not guilty during a trial in 1989. However, he pleaded guilty in Utah to witness tampering.
Randolph filed his appeal in August 2017, and the Nevada Supreme Court heard oral arguments in July 2020. Several months later, in December 2020, the court overturned the conviction on the basis that prosecutors mentioned similarities between Becky and Sharon’s deaths.
According to the court’s opinion, “Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is prohibited to prove a person’s character or propensity to act in conformity with a character trait.” However, the evidence can be “admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.”
KLAS-TV reports at the retrial, prosecutor Christopher Hammer argued during opening statements, “At the end of the day, the defendant’s story doesn’t add up. At the conclusion of this trial, we will ask you to find that man guilty.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports his attorney said, “Here’s the deal, ladies and gentleman: This case really is about perspective.”
Sharon Randolph was found dead in her May 8, 2008. Thomas found her and told police a man broke into the house and killed his wife, so he fatally shot the intruder, Michael Miller. Sharon was killed by a gunshot wound to the head, while Miller sustained five gunshot wounds, including two to the head.
Randolph reportedly told police he and Sharon went out that evening and she got out before he pulled into the garage and waited a few minutes. When he walked inside the home, he reportedly found Sharon dead.
He allegedly became “startled by unexpected movement,” so he picked up a gun from one of the rooms and shot the “masked intruder,” Miller. According to the Nevada Supreme Court’s statement of facts, Miller and Randolph had recently become friends and they even “looked at Jet-Skis mere hours before the home invasion.”
Investigators reportedly found “inconsistencies” between Randolph’s timeline of events and what detectives found inside the home. Detectives learned Randolph took out “multiple life insurance policies on Sharon before the killings and had an extensive, secretive relationship with Miller.”
The two men reportedly “often spoke in private and exchanged hundreds of phone calls in the months before the burglary.”
Over 20 years before Sharon’s death, Randolph’s wife at the time, Becky, died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Investigators at first believed she died by suicide, but they later charged him with murder. One of Randolph’s former friends, Eric Tarantino, reportedly told police Randolph asked him to kill Becky and make it look like a home invasion. Then, Randolph reportedly “solicited an undercover police officer to ‘whack’ Tarantino before Tarantino could testify against him at the trial.”
Randolph’s girlfriend at the time reportedly paid the undercover officer, which led to Randolph being charged with witness tampering. He later had his records expunged in Utah.
Prior to the first trial regarding Sharon Randolph and Miller’s deaths, prosecutors sought to bring evidence from the Utah trial into theirs. A district court allowed prosecutors to use the evidence and allowed the prosecutor from his trial in Utah as well as a detective, Tarantino, and his ex-girlfriend to testify.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in this retrial because Randolph is 68 years old.
Crime Watch Daily covered the Randolph case, which you can watch below.
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