Nurses, paramedic testify Murphy was hysterical

LAS VEGAS - Murder defendant Sandra Murphy was "hysterical" and "almost theatrical" in the hours after the death of boyfriend Ted Binion. But her attention soon shifted to claiming the $900,000 house she shared with the well-known gambling figure, witnesses testified Wednesday.

Larry Krev, a registered nurse at Valley Hospital, said he heard "screaming and yelling" when paramedics brought Murphy to the hospital, two hours after the discovery of Binion's body at his Las Vegas home.

He described Murphy as "hysterical, overdramatic, almost theatrical."

Paramedic Monica Manig said Murphy resisted leaving the Binion home to go to nearby Valley Hospital for observation, saying "I don't want to go. I won't be allowed back on the property."

The testimony came midway through the second week of the high-profile trial.

Murphy and her alleged lover, Missoula contractor Rick Tabish, are accused of killing Binion on Sept. 17, 1998, after they feared she would be cut out of his will and would not share in his $50 million estate.

The prosecution claims Binion was forced to ingest a lethal dose of heroin and the anti-depressant prescription drug Xanax, then was suffocated.

Defense attorneys say Binion, a longtime drug user, died of an accidental overdose or committed suicide.

Janice Tanno, a Binion neighbor who had known Murphy for more than a year, said she rushed to the hospital and found Murphy to be "hysterical" and "babbling." She said Murphy settled down when Tabish showed up at the hospital.

Tanno said Murphy later placed a call to an attorney and "wanted to know if the house was hers."

Tanno described Murphy's conversation as "feisty" and said her attitude was that "she was going to get that house."

Under Binion's will, Murphy was to receive the $900,000 house, its contents and $300,000 in cash.

But prosecutors contend Binion learned Murphy was having an affair and ordered her cut out of the will the day before he died.

Tanno, who testified that she let Murphy stay at her home after checking out of the hospital, said Tabish came to visit her twice the next day.

Under cross-examination, Krev said Murphy's pulse rate was 122, compared with a normal rate of 60 to 80 and she was hyperventilating when paramedics decided to take her to the hospital.

Another nurse, Kathleen Fox, said Murphy could be heard throughout the emergency room, making a "wailing" sound.

"You could hear her crying out 'boo hoo,' " Fox testified.

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