Margaret Rudin never has to worry again about prosecutors charging her with murder in the slaying of her millionaire husband some 27 years ago in Las Vegas.
The Nevada attorney general’s office has confirmed it will not appeal a federal judge’s May ruling that tossed Rudin’s murder conviction in the 1994 death of Ron Rudin. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that his office has decided not to retry Rudin on a murder charge.
The news offered up a huge wave of relief for the 79-year-old.
“It has been so tense for the last almost 30 days that I’ve just kind of shut down waiting,” Rudin said. “Thank God. If both of them are not going to go forward, I’m very grateful.”
It has been a rough and tumble journey for the septuagenarian over the past three decades. Her 64-year-old husband vanished from the couple’s Las Vegas home in December 1994. The wealthy businessman’s burned remains were found in January 1995, and almost immediately, suspicion swirled around his wife.
Las Vegas police said she shot her husband in his sleep, then had help disposing of the body near Lake Mohave in the remnants of a burned-out trunk that police claimed was linked to Margaret Rudin. Police and Clark County prosecutors alleged time and again that the crime was committed for money, and that Ron Rudin was about to divorce his wife at the time of the homicide.
Rudin was described by national media outlets for years as the Las Vegas “Black Widow.” The case has been the subject of a book and multiple true crime television shows.
Rudin, however, always maintained her innocence. Her murder conviction was reversed due to ineffective assistance of counsel from her late defense attorney, Michael Amador, at her 2001 murder trial. The ruling to reverse the conviction from U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware gave Clark County prosecutors and the Nevada attorney general’s office 30 days to appeal his decision or retry Rudin.
“After a thorough review of the case, our office has decided not to pursue an appeal,” attorney general’s office spokesman John Sadler said.
Wolfson said retrying Rudin “doesn’t make any sense” because even if Clark County secured a second murder conviction, she would almost certainly be sentenced to time served.
Rudin’s attorney, Greg Mullanax, agreed.
“It (a retrial) would accomplish nothing, and there is good chance the government would lose,” Mullanax said. “I can guarantee a new trial won’t be like the last trial.”
Rudin said she’s still processing the fact that the case is over. She continues to spend time compiling information about the police investigation and her prosecution.
“I’m writing a book and putting all of the information in there,” she said.