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‘Black widower’ has conviction for killing wife reversed

‘The Black Widower’ Thomas Randolph, 65

A Nevada man known as the Black Widower because four of his six wives have all died had his murder conviction for allegedly killing the sixth reversed and will now stand trial again.

Thomas Randolph, now 65, has been remanded in custody until the new trial but he is no longer on death row. 

In 2017, he was sentenced to death for the murder of his sixth wife Sharon Causse and Michael James Miller, a man he was accused of paying to kill her to win a life insurance policy payout.

He has always denied the murders and says he came home to find his wife dead, having been shot by the Miller, and that he shot Miller in self-defense. 

The jury didn’t believe him. Part of the reason was that years earlier, in 1986, his second wife had also turned up dead from a gunshot wound to the head. 

He was cleared of that killing but evidence from that case was allowed to be presented at his second trial, including the fact that he inherited $500,000 in life insurance money from the first woman’s death. 

Prosecutors said he was motivated to kill Causse to collect more than $360,000 in life insurance money from a policy she had taken out.  

But on December 9, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the jury should never have been able to hear about that case. 

They overturned the decision and ruled that Randolph should get a new trial.

He will not be freed from prison in the meantime.

He reacted gleefully, telling podcast Killer Genes: ‘I’m just as happy as can be because as I’ve told everybody – I didn’t do this. 

RANDOLPH’S WIVES

Kathryn Thomas

Kathryn Thomas

No 1: Kathryn Thomas – ALIVE

It’s unclear how long the pair were married but she testified at trial that he threatened to kill her when they were together. 

She told the jury that he was abusive and manipulative. 

The pair lived in Utah together. 

Prosecutors also claimed at his trial that he tried to have her killed by a hitman but that the plan was unsuccessful.  

Becky Gault

Becky Gault

No 2: Becky Gault  – DEAD 

Dead: 1986

He claimed she committed suicide by shooting herself in the head and that she’d threatened it once before.  

He was charged with her murder and the trial included a star witness coming forward to say he’d tried to hire him to kill her. 

Eric Tarantino said he’d tried to hire him to kill Becky and that he feared he would then be killed himself. 

‘Until the day they find him dead in his cell, or they stick a needle in him, I sleep with a gun at my side,’ he told the court.

Despite his testimony, he was acquitted.  

Gayna Allmon

Gayna Allmon 

No 3: Gayna Allmon  – ALIVE 

Gayna testified against him at his second trial. 

She said she believed he was also trying to have her killed but that he couldn’t convince a hitman to do it. 

She recalled at trial one occasion where he was cleaning his gun in front of her and it went off. 

Gayna said she believed it was a threat to her life.  

No 4:  Francis – DEAD

Francis

Francis

Francis died in 2004. 

A man testified at trial that he’d been asked by Randolph to kill her. 

Glen Morrison told the jury that Randolph plotted with him to kill her in a trailer in Indiana. 

He declined the job because, he said, he didn’t want to be killed by Randolph himself afterwards. 

Francis then died in suspicious circumstances and he cremated her immediately. 

He then sued a hospital where she’d been treated for an unspecified illness, won a settlement from them and a payment from a life insurance policy he had taken out on Francis.   

No 5: Leona Stapleton – DEAD 

Little is known of Leona or when she died but Randolph, according to The Review Journal, told friends and family she died of cancer.  

No 6: Sharon Causse – DEAD 

Sharon was found dead from by gunshot wound in 2008.

Randolph called police, claiming he had come home to find her dead and  Michael James Miller in his home. 

He said Miller was armed and to stop himself from being killed, he shot him. 

But Causse’s family was suspicious of his story, as were police. He was charged with double murder but had it overturned earlier this month.

Sharon Causse

Michael James Miller,

Sharon Causse and Michael James Miller. Randolph claimed he came home to find Sharon already dead and Miller in the house with a gun 

 

Thomas Randolph police interview after murder of Sharon Causse

Thomas Randolph police interview after murder of Sharon Causse

‘I didn’t kill Becky, I didn’t kill Sharon.

‘I think I’m more happy not with the fact I’m getting a new trial…

‘I am more happy that the system didn’t let me down like it has let me down for going on 13 years.’ 

He said he would ‘absolutely’ take the stand at the next trial, and said: ‘I’ve got nothing to hide.’ 

Thomas Randolph (pictured in 2017) has had his murder conviction for killing his sixth wife overturned. He'll now stand a new trial

Thomas Randolph (pictured in 2017) has had his murder conviction for killing his sixth wife overturned. He’ll now stand a new trial

His daughter from one of his marriages – Krista – was just as enthusiastic. 

‘I’m speechless. That’s awesome wow wow. I’m in total shock. 

‘This never happens…this made my day, my life,’ she said. 

But the victim’s family is sickened by the decision. 

Causse’s daughter, Colleen Beyer, said: ‘Everybody needs to know he’s guilty. 

‘He’s 100 percent guilty. 

‘I’m mad now. This is just not right. This is not justice for me and my family. He can’t get out. He’s a killer.

‘He’ll do it again. He is such an evil, evil person.

‘He did it. There is no doubt. I’m really mad, I’m really angry with this system.  This should not have happened. I’d like some more answers.’  

Before moving to Nevada, Randolph lived in Utah.  That is where he is believed to have lived with his first three wives. 

Information about three of the women is unknown beyond the fact that his only living ex-wives are his first and his fourth. 

They survived but were expected to testify at his murder trial that he threatened to kill them when they were married. 

His third wife is not alive but no details about her have been publicly shared either, beyond the fact that she died as a result of an illness. 

That is also the cause of his fifth wife’s death. Francis Rudolph died in 2004 and left him as the beneficiary of her life insurance policy. 

In this Wednesday, July 5, 2017 photo, Colleen Beyer, right, the daughter of victim Sharon Randolph, celebrates his conviction. She is now outraged that it has been overturned

In this Wednesday, July 5, 2017 photo, Colleen Beyer, right, the daughter of victim Sharon Randolph, celebrates his conviction. She is now outraged that it has been overturned 

It’s unclear how long they’d been married. 

At Randolph’s murder trial, Francis’ daughter testified that he hadn’t allowed her to see her mother before she died. 

He also had her cremated within 24 hours, took a payout from her life insurance policy and successfully sued the hospital where she had been treated for another lump sum. 

He was never arrested in connection with her death. 

In 2008, four years later, Sharon, his fifth wife, was killed in Nevada, where he had moved to by then. 

He told police that he came home to find her dead and a man in a black ski mask at their home. 

He said he then shot the man five times to stop him from killing him too. 

But police and prosecutors didn’t believe him. He then cashed in $360,000 of Sharon’s life insurance money which made them even more suspicious.

The Nevada Supreme Court, in their ruling decision, said: ‘Ultimately, the State lured the jury into finding (Thomas) Randolph guilty based on myriad other bad acts that were not even marginally relevant for a nonpropensity purpose, rather than constraining the testimony to evidence relevant to the charged offenses. 

‘We cannot look to the prior-bad-act evidence to conclude that the error in admitting that evidence was harmless.’ 

A new trial date has not yet been set. 


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