Prosecutor derides claims of Tabish informant
LAS VEGAS (AP) – A prosecutor has derided claims that an informant was placed in murder defendant Rick Tabish’s cell as part of an attempt to get information on Ted Binion’s killing.
Chief Deputy District Attorney David Roger said the allegation made in a court motion by Tabish’s attorney was ”another example of the young lawyer going off half-cocked.”
”There is absolutely no truth to the allegation that the prosecution planted an informant in Tabish’s cell,” Roger said. ”We are confident with our case, and we would not jeopardize the prosecution by using jail-house informants.”
Defense attorney Louis Palazzo, joined by John Momot, the lawyer for Tabish’s co-defendant Sandy Murphy, filed a motion charging that Roger and jail officials planted inmate David Gomez next to Tabish to steal personal notes from Tabish before his March 13 trial. Both Tabish and Murphy are charged with killing Binion in September 1998 and stealing his valuables.
Defense lawyers asked District Judge Joseph Bonaventure to dismiss the murder charges against their clients because of the alleged wrongdoing.
”The misconduct at issue is so flagrant that nothing short of dismissal will serve to deter such unlawful and egregious tactics in the future,” Palazzo and Momot wrote.
Bonaventure has scheduled a hearing Friday on the motion. Attorneys are considering subpoenaing Roger, jail officials and Metro detectives.
In an affidavit, Palazzo charged that jail officials placed Gomez in the same protective custody block as Tabish ”for the purpose of invading the defense camp and seeking to undermine Mr. Tabish’s defense in this case.”
Defense attorneys described Gomez as a ”reputed snitch who has repeatedly worked on numerous cases for the the state and federal government.”
Tabish was placed in protective custody six weeks ago after jail officials reported they had received death threats against him.