Tabish and Murphy tell all

September 6, 2000

By Steve Miller

LAS VEGAS - The two people convicted of the first degree murder of former Horseshoe Club owner Ted Binion called the Las Vegas Tribune Monday from the Clark County Detention Center to give new information that they hope will help them gain a new trial.

The incentive for their calls was the front page story in last week's Las Vegas Tribune reporting an incident that occurred Friday, August 25 at Piero's restaurant involving the late Ted Binion's closest friend Bob Stupak and his 23 year old daughter Summer Stupak.

On August 25, at 9:23 PM, it was reported that the Stupaks were attacked and beaten by Benny Binion Behnen, the 24 year old son of current Horseshoe owners Becky and Nick Behnen, and two accomplices identified as Grover "Chance" LeSueur, 24, and Russell "R.D." Matthews, 80.

Prior to the assault, LeSueur and Matthews were seen dining with Becky, Nick, and Benny Behnen in Piero's.

Witnesses said that the three men reportedly approached the Stupaks while they were having dinner and accused the father of stealing Horseshoe chips. Then the three men reportedly began beating the two Stupaks.

In new information just discovered, three previous incidents involving Behnen family members and friends reportedly took place during the summer of 1997 at the home of Ted Binion. These incidents may shed new light on just how bitter the relationship between Ted Binion and the Behnens had become.

A police report that was not used in the trial by Rick Tabish's attorney Louie Palazzo revealed that a drive-by shooting occurred on June 5, 1997, in front of Ted Binion's Palomino Lane home.

Included in the police report about the late night incident is a statement by Ted Binion alleging that Chance LeSueur and Benny Behnen were the shooters.

Leading up to the shooting incident is an eyewitness statement made by Murphy telling a story of three unwelcome visits to the Palomino Lane house by the Behnens or their associates during the weeks prior to the drive-by shooting.

On one occasion Murphy describes a visit by Chance LeSueur. She described LeSueur coming to the door of the house wanting to speak to Ted. Murphy said she told LeSueur through the locked door that "When Ted's not home no one is allowed to come in the house."

Murphy then describes LeSueur kicking the door and screaming "I'm going to kill you!" She said she picked up a pistol and showed it to LeSueur through the window to prove she "was not fooling around." LeSueur then reportedly left the property.

In another incident according to Murphy, "R.D. Matthews came over to our house with Benny one day and they wanted to talk to Ted. I opened the door like a dummy. They forced their way in. I tried to shut the door on them, but they pushed me aside. I said Ted is in his room sleeping, but he got up and began yelling at R.D. and Benny, and it got to be a scene. Then R.D. left and told Ted that he was going to be sorry. "

Murphy also described an event she said she witnessed in late spring 1997, when Nick and Benny Behnen reportedly came over to Binion's house and met with Ted in the garage.

She described both Behnens as being intoxicated and engaged in a "screaming match" with Ted. She said that Ted grabbed a shotgun and cocked it saying "Get the hell out of here." She said the Behnen's left the property, however Nick Behnen reportedly called Ted later that night from 12 to 15 times on his answering machine to make threatening remarks.

Murphy said she gave police a copy of the tape but it also was not used at trial.

Then in a separate call to the Tribune from Rick Tabish, he stated "Nobody has to take my word. I'm just a convicted murderer."

He went on to say that a friend informed him that Becky and Nick Behnen hired advertising man Sig Rogich to "wreck you guys publicly." He then said, "This is like a presidential campaign the way these guys have gone after us. We're in Newsweek; we're in People; America's Most Wanted; and Unsolved Mysteries. They (the Behnens) educate the public on exactly how they think this happened and then they offer a reward at the last minute."

Tabish then described the removal of $3.5 million dollars in chips from the Horseshoe cashier's cage by brothers Ted and Jack Binion. He said "There is no way that gaming control or anybody can get around it. That was a massive embezzlement."

He then described a plan that the Binion brothers reportedly had to return the chips for redemption at a time when the casino would not be able to cover them. At that time the two brothers allegedly planned to break the bank and take over the casino from the Behnens.

Tabish said that Becky and Nick Behnen knew the Binion brother's plan to take back the Horseshoe and, therefore, "The only person that had any motive to murder that guy was her," according to Tabish.

"They set her up like a cream pie! They walked out and both laughed. They took their money and said 'We'll be back within a year.'"

Tabish went on to say "That's why Ted was scrambling to get his gaming license back." He then described Ted giving then-gubernatorial candidate Jan Jones $50,000 expecting her to make sure his gaming license was reinstated if she was elected.

Meanwhile, three months after a tearful press conference Becky Behnen arranged at her brother's graveside, she is inexplicably seen dining with Chance LeSueur and R.D. Matthews, two of the men who reportedly tormented Ted Binion shortly before his death.

Tabish and Murphy hope that this information in addition to evidence recently uncovered revealing the jury's use of unauthorized jury instructions will persuade Judge Joseph Bonaventure to grant the duo a new trial.

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