No fibers, skin residue, blood found under Binion's fingernails

LAS VEGAS - Well-known gambling figure Ted Binion was found dead in a home filled with weapons - an empty prescription bottle near his body, a crime scene analyst testified Tuesday.

Michael Perkins showed the jury photos of Binion, clad in a half-open shirt and boxer shorts, lying on a mat in the den of his home.

Binion died Sept. 17, 1998, of an overdose of heroin and Xanax.

Perkins said the empty Xanax bottle carried a prescription date of Sept. 16 and was for 120 doses of 0.5 milligram pills.

Prosecutors contend Binion was forced to ingest a lethal dose of heroin and Xanax, an anti-depressant.

Defense attorneys claim Binion, a member of a famous casino clan, died of an accidental overdose or committed suicide.

Binion's live-in girlfriend, Sandra Murphy, and her alleged lover, Rick Tabish, are charged with killing him and stealing his valuables.

Perkins, a crime scene analyst for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said 201 photos were taken at Binion's home after his body was discovered. An extraordinary number was taken due to the size of the home - 9,000 square feet - and "because of the person involved," he said.

Perkins said handguns, shotguns, semiautomatic weapons, knives and military ammunition cans were found throughout the home.

He said pieces of balloons also were found along with tinfoil stained with burn marks.

Peter Sheridan, a self-admitted Las Vegas drug dealer, testified Monday that he provided Binion with 12 balloons of heroin on Sept. 16, 1998. He said drug dealers often deliver heroin in balloons so it can be swallowed if the dealers are stopped by authorities.

Sheridan also testified that Binion, who lost his casino license because of drug usage, would smoke the heroin by putting a piece on tinfoil, then heating it from the bottom.

Perkins said small abrasions were found on the center of Binion's chest and on his hand and knee.

The analyst said he returned to the Binion home for further investigations Oct. 15, 1998, and again Jan. 14, 1999. On the latter date he photographed a safe in the garage that had been emptied.

Under cross-examination, Perkins said no fibers, skin residue or blood was found under Binion's fingernails, signals that he might have struggled with someone.

Meanwhile, a second witness in the case, Las Vegas businessman Larry Stockett, was arrested over the weekend.

Stockett, who testified last week that he tried to buy Tabish's trucking firm, MRT Transport, days before Binion's death, is accused of passing bad checks.

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