"I'm gonna kill my wife . . . I'm really gonna take her life . . . Gonna shoot her in the head . . . make it look like suicide . . . ."
Rocker Rod Stewart's raspy voice rang out in 2nd District Court Wednesday morning in the murder trial of Thomas W. Randolph Jr.Prosecutor Bill McGuire cued up the Stewart song, "Foolish Behavior," Wednesday as the mostly middle- age jurors leaned forward, straining to make out the lyrics that tell a tale of a man shooting his wife in the head, making her death look like a suicide.
"I think once is enough," Judge Rodney S. Page remarked dryly as the last lyrics and discordant guitar chords faded away.
Earlier in the week, the jury had listened to testimony from the defendant's best friend, Eric Tarantino, describing how Randolph leaped around a room, playing an imaginary guitar and sang along with Stewart's words as the pair plotted how to kill Randolph's wife, Rebecca.
Tarantino testified Monday that during the summer of 1986, he and Randolph plotted several ways - ranging from an accidental fall or hunting accident to a house fire - to kill Becky Randolph and collect more than $250,000 in insurance benefits.
Randolph is charged with murdering his wife in their Clearfield home on Nov. 7, 1986. The trial ended its sixth day Wednesday, and the prosecution rested its case.
Randolph, 33, a Roy resident, is charged with first-degree murder and faces the death penalty if convicted. She was found, shot once in the head, in the bedroom of their home in Clearfield Nov. 7, 1986.
Her death was initially ruled a suicide and it wasn't until Tarantino, under a grant of immunity from prosecution on conspiracy to commit murder charges, came forward with his testimony that Randolph was arrested last Nov. 30 and charged with murder and a third-degree felony charge of filing a false insurance claim.
Defense attorney John Caine's motion to have the charges dismissed, made Wednesday after the prosecution rested, was turned down by Judge Page.
Caine argued the prosecution failed first of all to prove conclusively that Becky Randolph was murdered, rather than killing herself, and if she was, that her husband had any connection to the shooting.
The case is built solely on circumstantial evidence and that evidence points just as strongly to suicide as it does to murder, Caine argued.
But Page ruled there is enough doubt and sufficient evidence has been presented that the case should be ruled on by the jury.
The defense opened its case Wednesday afternoon, bringing up an incident in June 1986 when Becky Randolph was found slumped over the wheel of her car, unconscious from an overdose of tranquilizers.
She was diagnosed by a therapist as having a substance-abuse problem along with a borderline personality disorder, according to testimony.
Ogden psychiatrist Harvey Wheelright, who reviewed Becky Randolph's medical records but never examined her personally, testified that people suffering that type of disorder are difficult to treat and, when depressed, tend to commit suicide.