LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge has vacated the murder conviction of a 78-year-old Las Vegas woman who spent 20 years in prison for the 1994 killing of her millionaire husband until she was paroled in 2020.
Margaret Rudin. a socialite antique shop owner, was found guilty in 2001 of murder in the death of real estate mogul Ron Rudin. Prosecutors said he had been shot in the head as he slept in the couple’s home and that 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 maintained her innocence all along.
“I will be 79 years old at the end of this month so I am very, very grateful,” she told the newspaper on Monday.
She was indicted in 1997 in what authorities portrayed as a crime committed for financial gain.
Rudin vanished before her indictment and spent two years as a fugitive until a tip generated by a television program that focused on the case led to her arrest in 1999 in Massachusetts.
The Clark County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment from on whether prosecutors were considering appealing the judge’s decision or whether to retry Rudin.