Insurance Seen as Possible Motive in Vegas Slaying

January 12, 2009

Authorities didn’t believe Thomas William Randolph’s claim that an armed intruder shot and killed his wife before he shot and killed the gunman last May.

Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Lewis Roberts said Randolph’s deameanor and evidence at the scene didn’t add up.

Instead, investigators allege, Randolph hired a handyman to kill his wife and then killed the handyman in a plot to collect more than $400,000 in insurance.

Randolph, 53, was arrested at his mother’s home in Utah, a day after a grand jury in Las Vegas handed up a four-count indictment charging him with murder and conspiracy in the May 8 slayings of his wife, Sharon Clausse Randolph, 57, and the handyman, 38-year-old Michael James Miller.

Randolph was being held at the Davis County jail in Utah pending extradition to Nevada at press time.

Authorities in Las Vegas and a former prosecutor in Utah said suspicions in the Las Vegas case were heightened by Randolph’s past, including his acquittal by a jury in the 1986 shooting death of a previous wife, Becky Randolph, in Clearfield, Utah.

“I wish them every success in being able to convict Mr. Randolph, because I wasn’t able to,” said former Davis County Attorney Mel Wilson, the prosecutor in that case. Randolph maintained that Becky Randolph’s death was a suicide. Utah cannot try him again.

Wilson, now a private attorney in Bountiful, Utah, said Las Vegas police detectives contacted him weeks ago about Randolph.

Dorothy Randolph, Randolph’s mother, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that her son was not guilty in the Las Vegas case.

“I don’t believe one thing about this,” she said from her home in Clearfield, Utah. “He’s not that kind of person.”

Dorothy Randolph said that since the May slayings, her son has been unemployed and on disability with a back injury. He also suffers from hepatitis C, she said.

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