Ex-Wrestler Denies Charges in Vegas Homicide Case: A Neon Courtroom Drama

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In the brilliant lights of Las Vegas, a courtroom drama unfolded that could rival any wrestling-match script. Daniel Rodimer, a 45-year-old former professional wrestler and two-time Republican Congressional candidate from Texas, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in connection to the homicide case of one Christopher Tapp, which occurred within the illustrious Resorts World Las Vegas.

Standing a towering figure in the courtroom, Rodimer is no stranger to conflict, having spent many a year dancing the tumultuous tango of professional wrestling. Yet, this was not a wrestling ring, and the jeopardies he now faced were very real. The defendant maintained that the charges were wholly erroneous, countering the grand jury’s indictment leveled against him in relief to a fatal altercation at Resorts World the previous November.

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Backed by the high-profile Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys Richard Schonfeld and David Chesnoff, Rodimer’s not-guilty plea was voiced in the quiet confines of the chambers of District Judge Tierra Jones. Chesnoff, speaking to reporters following the court appearance, reinforced the steadfastness of Rodimer’s plea saying, “Rodimer vigorously denies any responsibility for the allegations,” as reported by the Associated Press.

The fatal incident which entwined Rodimer and Tapp took place on a Halloween evening teeming with merriment. According to police, Tapp, age 47, met his untimely end after a fierce confrontation with Rodimer in a hotel room at Resorts World, when he allegedly offered Rodimer’s stepdaughter cocaine. In a horrific turn of events, Tapp sustained fatal injuries after striking his head on a tabletop.

An eyewitness who was present during these catastrophic series of events described the ominous verbal assault by Rodimer to Tapp, reported by KLAS, a Las Vegas local TV station, “If you ever talk to my daughter again, I’ll [expletive] kill you,” The statement was followed by two deafening sounds, the startled witness claimed.

Days after the grim confrontation, Tapp succumbed to his injuries, passing away while hospitalized at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. At first, Tapp’s death was marked accidental, stirring only whispers of suspicion amongst law enforcement. But a subsequent examination by the Clark County coroner’s office decreed Tapp’s demise as homicide­—the result of blunt force trauma to the head.

A curiously incriminating text message exchange between Rodimer and his wife Sarah following the incident revealed a potentially more disturbing scene. Sarah accused Daniel of nearly killing Tapp, “I watched you nearly murder somebody and I had to take your [expletive] hands off from his neck as he laid there and you ran away…”

Before these grave charges took center stage, Daniel Rodimer had attempted a pivot from wrestling to politics. The former wrestler—once known in the wrestling ring as “Dan Rodman,”—attempted to gain a seat in Congress in Texas and Nevada, failing both times. In contrast, Tapp garnered public attention due to being awarded $11.7M in a lawsuit after a wrongful conviction in Idaho for a 1996 homicide saw him spend two decades in prison.

In early March this year, officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department took Rodimer into custody. Shortly after, he secured his release by posting a hefty bond of $200,000. As the trial continues, the Las Vegas courtrooms brace themselves for a distinctly neon-flavored drama.