Margaret Rudin is found guilty, refuses multiple plea deals: Part 9

Despite the initial holdout from the 11th juror Coreen Kovacs, Margaret Rudin was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Rudin had refused multiple plea deals.
7:35 | 02/20/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Margaret Rudin is found guilty, refuses multiple plea deals: Part 9
Now you could win up to ten million dollars. The jury in this case has seen all kinds of craziness, and it's not over yet. Now the defense wants to re-create the actual crime scene in the middle of the courtroom. A whole body would have to go this way to get the head now facing the back. The idea was to demonstrate to the jurors that the prosecution's theory was not correct. The defense team's novel courtroom exhibit seems to fall flat when judge Bonaventure is clearly not amused. I'm going to caution the jury that you were wrong doing that! It's unfair to Mrs. Rudin. Listen to me, you better not start yelling at me, Mr. Pitaro, I made a ruling and it sticks. I sort of blew up on that. I says, this is the most ridiculous thing. It was a circus. Well, you know, he got upset a few times, but that's what he gets paid for. After over nine weeks, the prosecution and the defense finally rest in one of the longest trials in Vegas history, sending jurors off to deliberate. The real nasty down-and-out fight doesn't happen in the courtroom. The real fight starts in the jury room. I'm Ron vest. I was the foreman on the Margaret rudin/ron Rudin, millionaire murder trial. Ron vest. Yeah. Um, very overbearing, but he was very angry because he actually felt on that first day of deliberation that he'd be home by dinner. According to Ron, this case was a slam dunk. And it really wasn't. This thing was a slam dunk with a stepladder. I mean, it just was. When you start adding up who had the means, the motive, who had the opportunity to do it, there's only one person. And then we had the lone holdout. She couldn't point to evidence as to why Margaret didn't do it. And we're all ears. What do you got? There was no direct evidence against Margaret. There were no forensics. There was nothing. And I thought to myself, oh, great, there's your reasonable doubt. We went through six days of deliberation where I was not budging. The foreman wanted me to dismiss juror number 11 because she was the only holdout, I and I says, no, her actions weren't such that she needs to be excused. And if it's going to be a hung jury, so be it. Ms. Rudin, will you stand up, please? Have you arrived at a verdict? Yes, sir, we have. It was a packed courtroom. Cameras were rolling. There was a lot of suspense because the jury had been out for quite a while. Oh, it's tense. It was really tense. I can remember standing up and reading the charges. I said on the count, "Murder in the first degree we find the defendant," and I can remember pausing briefly and symbolically. We find the defendant guilty. Then the verdict was read, you hear somebody's sobbing. That was me. Because I caved. And all I could do was look up at Tom pitaro and Margaret Rudin and mouth, I'm sorry. I'm very ashamed of myself that I let that happen. It was the biggest regret of my it really is. And when they came back saying guilty of all counts, I was -- I was surprised. I was surprised at that. Juror number 11 should have stuck to her guns. When she came out guilty, you know, we were all relieved that she was going to go to prison. Margaret Rudin was looking at me when I said guilty, because I know she did it. And she didn't even blink. It was a block out. It's sort of like when the cops came to tell me about Ron. Then your mind goes, I can't take anymore. I don't know how to take it. I sentence you life sentence with possibility of parole after None of this ever had to happen. What no one really knew at the time except for a handful of people is that Margaret Rudin was offered plea deals. Multiple times. There had been so many issues with regards to the trial itself that we were concerned about what would happen with appeals. "They" being the prosecution were going to give her credit for time served. I think I even told her, another year, year and a half, you'd be out of custody. She didn't hesitate one bit. Oh, no, judge. I'm innocent. I'm not taking any deal. I can't plead to something I didn't do. Five times I was offered a plea deal. I never considered it. I'm not going to admit it. I don't care if I'm 110 and I'm still waiting. I'm not going to admit to something I didn't do. And that takes a lot of chutzpah. Even afterwards, one of the prosecutors came up to me and said, I'll still give it to you. Dumbfounded. Dumbfounded. That she rejected the offer. Okay, then. Maybe she is innocent. Wow, Margaret. I honestly don't know what to say to that. I really don't. That's unbelievable. She went out to the Florence Mcclure prison out in the smiley road. It's on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Smiley road. Who would put a women's prison on smiley road? What a sense of humor. She wasn't being broken by the system. She had a belief that she was going to get through it. It hardens you. You know, the only way you can bear a lot of the things is you have to only think about what's good still. One person who reached out to Margaret in prison was holdout juror Coreen Kovacs. She had befriended and written Margaret during her long prison stint. The catalyst for me was I needed to -- I needed to personally apologize to this woman for what I felt was, um, my fault. You know, the travesty was my fault. As the years went by, there were lingering questions of whether or not she got a fair trial. This was a Show. It was just terrible. Should she have received a fairer trial? Yeah, she could have received a fairer trial and better defense counsel, but what do you do? In 42 years, that is the worst trial that I've ever had. The only regret I have, should I have allowed a mistrial in the very beginning because of Mike amadore? It might have had a different outcome for Margaret Rudin. But now, 20 years after her conviction, could unsolved mysteries about Ron Rudin's death finally lead to Margaret's name being cleared? There were four sets of footprints, muddy footprints in the car. They never established whose footprints they are. There's all sorts of questions. Who were the four people in that This case is still pending. I don't know if you know that. Tune in for the next chapter. She wants to prove she did not do it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"7:35","description":"Despite the initial holdout from the 11th juror Coreen Kovacs, Margaret Rudin was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Rudin had refused multiple plea deals.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/2020","id":"76009264","title":"Margaret Rudin is found guilty, refuses multiple plea deals: Part 9","url":"/2020/video/margaret-rudin-found-guilty-refuses-multiple-plea-deals-76009264"}