Retired pro wrestler who ran twice for Congress pleads not guilty in Las Vegas murder case

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A retired professional wrestler and former congressional candidate in Nevada and Texas pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a murder charge in the death of a man last year at a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

Daniel Rodimer, 45, appeared in court for a brief arraignment. His attorneys, Richard Schonfeld and David Chesnoff, told a state court judge they intend to file documents challenging Rodimer's indictment in the Halloween party death of Christopher Tapp of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Outside court, Chesnoff told reporters that Rodimer "vigorously denies any responsibility for the allegations.”

Rodimer lives in Texas. He lost Republican bids for Congress in Nevada in 2020 and in Texas in 2021. He surrendered to Las Vegas police for his arrest March 6 and remains free on a $200,000 bail.

A grand jury was told that Tapp was fatally injured when he hit his head on a table after Rodimer attacked him during a dispute about drug use in the presence of Rodimer’s stepdaughter at the party at the Resorts World Las Vegas resort. Tapp died several days later.

Tapp, 47, was the recipient in 2022 of an $11.7 million settlement in a lawsuit stemming from his a wrongful conviction in Idaho in a 1996 killing. He had spent more than 20 years in prison.