September 14, 2006
Only 11 years out of law school, Robert Daskas, ’93, played a prominent role in the sensational Ted Binion murder retrial that ended in acquittal on homicide charges against two people charged with killing the eccentric millionaire.
Dubbed Las Vegas’ trial of the century, the courtroom drama that ended on November 23 with the jury’s not-guilty verdict had all the elements of a made-for-TV drama – drugs, sex, betrayal and buried treasure.
The retrial was set in motion when the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the 2000 conviction of two defendants, one the decease’s live-in girlfriend, in the 1998 death of Binion, an addict who died from a heroin overdose.
Daskas, a Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney, was chosen to be the lead prosecutor in the sequel. He won convictions for grand larceny and burglary against the defendants for their attempted removal of $7 million in silver bars from an underground vault in the Nevada desert shortly after Binion’s death. But the jury didn’t buy the state’s argument that they had stuffed heroin and prescription drugs down Binion’s throat and then suffocated him.
The key juncture in the retrial came when legendary defense attorney Tony Serra put his client, Rick Tabish, on the stand and led him through an explanation of his whereabouts on the day of the homicide. Daskas cross-examined the witness, but could only develop minor inconsistencies in his testimony.