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Margaret Rudin, 'Black Widow of Las Vegas,' has murder conviction vacated

Rudin served 20 years in prison for murder
Margaret Rudin was convicted of killing her millionaire husband Ron Rudin in 1994 and spoke on TV for the first time since her release from prison.
Margaret Rudin was convicted of killing her millionaire husband Ron Rudin in 1994 and spoke on TV for the first time since her release from prison.
Margaret Rudin was convicted of killing her millionaire husband Ron Rudin in 1994 and spoke on TV for the first time since her release from prison.
Posted at 2:27 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 12:22:16-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Margaret Rudin, who was convicted of murdering her husband, has had her conviction vacated.

Rudin's attorney, M. Greg Mullanax, confirmed the ruling to 13 Action News on Monday.

The so-called "Black Widow of Las Vegas" was released from prison in 2019 and, at last report, was living with her family in Illinois. She appealed her conviction of first-degree murder on the grounds that her initial defense counsel was ineffective and plagued by conflicts of interest.

MORE: Las Vegas' 'Black Widow' Margaret Rudin speaks on TV for first time since prison

In a 68-page ruling on Sunday, Nevada's district court justices concluded that Rudin's Sept. 17, 2001 murder conviction should be vacated. Mullanax clarified that the ruling is not a determination of Rudin's guilt or innocence in Ron Rudin's murder, but a determination that her conviction no longer stands.

Rudin's millionaire husband Ron was murdered in 1994. Police said he was shot in his sleep, and his burned body was later found in the Nevada desert.

Margaret Rudin was convicted of killing her millionaire husband Ron Rudin in 1994 and spoke on TV for the first time since her release from prison.
These are photos of Margaret Rudin's appearance on ABC's 2020 and of people watching the prime time special in Feb. 2021

She was indicted in 1997 and went on the run, disguising herself and assuming different identities. She was eventually tracked down and arrested in October of 1999 in Massachusetts, and brought back to Nevada to stand trial in the murder case.

Questions about the effectiveness of Rudin's defense, led by now-deceased attorney Michael J. Amador, began from the moment of opening statements in her trial. At one point, Rudin herself spoke up and addressed the judge: "Your honor, I would like a mistrial," she said.

IN-DEPTH: The Black Widow: Web of Deception

The court's ruling contains allegations that Amador was unprepared for the trial, and that he "lied to the court because he had book and movie contracts regarding the Rudin case."

Rudin was ultimately convicted and sentenced to serve two life sentences in prison, with the possibility of parole on each sentence after 10 years. She served 20 years before she was paroled in 2019. She has maintained her innocence.

Now, prosecutors have 30 days to file a motion to appeal the court's ruling or to retry the case. If not, Rudin must be released from all custody or restraints, including probation or parole. If the state decides to retry Rudin, jury selection must begin within 120 days, according to the ruling.