Prosecutors say man accused of double homicide tried to hire hitmen in the past

Opening statements were held in the Thomas Randolph trial on June 16, 2017. (Donnie Lane | KSNV)

Stunning testimony in the trial of a man accused of killing his wife, and the hitman he hired to murder her.

A former friend of 62-year-old Thomas Randolph took the stand, Friday, and says Randolph asked him to carry out a similar crime 30 -years-ago.

Randolph was acquitted of that murder back in 1988 and defense attorneys are reminding the jury to not get bogged down by the past but to focus on this case.

Still, prosecutors say what happened in the 80’s is relevant; showing a pattern of behavior and death that all leads back to Randolph.

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“He told me that he wanted me to kill his wife,” said Eric Tarantino, a former friend of Randolph.

Tarantino says at first he thought it was just all talk.

“He asked me if I'd have trouble hurting somebody. If I could shoot somebody; would it bother me, give me nightmares?” said Tarantino.

The conversation took place during the late 80’s while the men were living in Utah.

Tarantino testifying, Randolph wanted his wife, Becky, dead so he could collect insurance money. Eric said he wanted no part of it and Randolph was not happy.

“I knew too much about it and either I killed her, or he was going to kill me,” Tarantino said. When the prosecutor asked did he believe Randolph, he replied, “absolutely”.

Tarantino says out of fear, he left town but eventually learned Randolph was arrested for Becky’s murder. A jury later found him not guilty.

Fast forward to 2008, another wife, dead under suspicious circumstances.

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In court, a video was seen of Randolph walking detectives through his Las Vegas home, explaining that he and his sixth wife, Sharon, had just returned home from dinner when they were confronted by an intruder. That person was 38-year-old Michael James Miller.

Randolph told officers he pulled out his own gun but detectives aren’t buying it. They believe Randolph turned the gun on his own accomplice, eliminating the only witness. And with Tarantino on the stand, prosecutors brought out eerie similarities.

“We discussed having a burglary. I was to go in, grab a couple of things, rummage through some drawers. When she came home, shoot her and leave,” said Tarantino.

Again, Randolph was acquitted of the murder back in the 80’s but he did serve time for trying to tamper with a witness.

Prosecutors say he also tried to put a hit out on Tarantino. A complicated story and attorneys are just getting started.

Testimony picks back up on Monday, June 19.

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