LAS VEGAS — A judge has overturned the murder conviction of a 78-year-old Las Vegas woman who spent 20 years in prison for the murder of her millionaire husband in 1994 until his parole in 2020.
Margaret Rudin, owner of a socialite antique shop, was convicted in 2001 of murder in the death of real estate tycoon Ron Rudin. Prosecutors said he was shot in the head while sleeping in the couple’s home and his body was dumped in the desert.
But U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware ruled Sunday that Margaret Rudin received ineffective legal representation from her late defense attorney, Michael Amador, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Rudin has always maintained his innocence.
“I’ll be 79 at the end of this month so I’m very, very grateful,” she told the newspaper on Monday.
She was charged in 1997 with what authorities described as a crime committed for profit.
Rudin disappeared before indictment and spent two years as a fugitive until a tip generated by a television show focusing on the case led to his arrest in 1999 in Massachusetts.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to an email request for comment on whether prosecutors plan to appeal the judge’s decision or try Rudin again.