‘The Widower’ suspect Thomas Randolph due in court for motions hearing

Posted at 10:48 AM, July 18, 2023 and last updated 12:50 PM, August 10, 2023


LAS VEGAS (Court TV) — A Nevada man facing retrial for the 2008 shooting deaths of his wife and the hitman he allegedly conspired with to kill her is due in court Thursday for a motions hearing.

Thomas Randolph was sentenced to death in 2017 for the murders of his sixth wife, Sharon Randolph, and hitman Michael Miller. His conviction was overturned in 2021, after the state’s highest court found the district court abused its discretion in admitting prior-bad-act evidence at trial.

thomas randolph booking photo

FILE – Thomas Randolph (Nevada Dept. of Corrections)

On Thursday, a judge will hear arguments on the defense’s motion to exclude jailhouse phone calls and the state’s motion to include prior bad acts.

Randolph’s case was the focus of the Dateline docuseries “The Widower.” The defendant was married six times, and “four of his wives died under mysterious circumstances,” reported Oxygen. Outside of his Nevada conviction, Randolph was once a suspect in the 1986 death of his second wife, Becky Gault, in Utah. He was acquitted of all charges in Gault’s death in 1988.

During his Nevada trial, prosecutors relied heavily on evidence from the Utah trial, including testimony from the man Randolph allegedly tried to recruit to kill Gault.

Gault’s death was initially ruled a suicide, but Eric Tarantino told a different story. He said that Randolph tried to convince him to kill Gault in a staged burglary so Randolph could collect on Gault’s life insurance policy. When he refused, Tarantino said Randolph beat him up, sending him to the hospital and prompting him to flee the state in fear. When Tarantino began cooperating in the investigation of Gault’s death, Randolph tried to hire a hitman to kill Tarantino through a woman Randolph was seeing on the side.

Randolph pleaded guilty to witness tampering for soliciting a hitman to kill Tarantino. Nevada prosecutors argued in Randolph’s 2017 trial that he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice by letting his would-be hitman live.

According to court documents, on the evening of May 8, 2008, Randolph called 911 to report that a masked intruder shot his sixth wife and that he shot and killed the intruder. Randolph recognized the intruder as 38-year-old Michael Miller, a person he befriended a few months before and with whom prosecutors say he developed an extensive, secretive relationship.

The crime scene raised questions about Randolph’s version of events, and detectives began to suspect that he was involved in Sharon’s murder based on inconsistencies between his story and the physical evidence. Further stoking suspicions about Randolph’s involvement, law enforcement uncovered evidence that Randolph took out multiple life insurance policies on Sharon before the killings, and that Sharon had removed Randolph as the beneficiary of her will after discovering he was seeing another woman.

A Clark County jury convicted Randolph of murder and conspiracy charges in June 2017 for the deaths of Michael Miller and Sharon Randolph and recommended two death sentences. After his conviction was overturned in 2021, the case was remanded for a new trial, setting the state for a do-over.