Sharron Randolph, the police officer and mother who was gunned down outside a restaurant and found dead in the back of her car 34 years ago, is the next case to air on Fatal Attraction. In the episode entitled “Lavish Lies,” TV One viewers will watch how a teacher turned lawyer lost it all after he is implicated in the murder of his third wife. In the real story, Thomas Randolph was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the conspiracy death of Sharron Randolph.
It took nearly 20 years to bring him to justice but the Beatty family finally got a measure of it when Attorney Thomas Randolph was arrested for the fatal shooting of his wife, Sharon Beatty Randolph. It was January 1982 when Sharron was found dead in the back of her vehicle outside the Empress Garden Restaurant in Southfield.
When detectives arrived at the scene, Thomas Randolph told them that they were attacked by a man who spoke with an accent. He said that he didn’t remember much after he was struck in the head but does remember hearing the gunshots that killed his wife. By the end of 1982, Thomas Randolph had custody of Sharron Randolph’s sons and had collected on the life insurance policies, totaling almost $300,000.
In the years after Sharron’s death, Thomas Randolph lived in the lap of luxury with his fourth wife, Marie. People who knew them say they lived a life that others can only dream about. Thomas became a prestigious lawyer who drove around in a Rolls Royce. His wife, Marie Antoinette Jackson Randolph, was the owner of a slew of day care centers and wore only the best furs around town. They were definitely the power couple who represented the picture of wealth. But, as the couple lived in their rich fantasy world, it seemed that Sharron Beatty Randolph’s boys were no longer going to be apart of Thomas Randolph’s life. The next year, he gave up custody of the boys and returned them to their biological fathers–leaving them terribly disappointed that they were no longer living the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed.
Sharon’s family was left with a bitter taste in their mouths knowing that Thomas Randolph was not an innocent man. Her family suspected early on that Thomas Randolph knew more than he was telling about the so-called robbery. Eventually, the lavish lifestyle that the Randolphs lived in the fast lane came to a screeching halt after a government audit detected that Dr. Marie Jackson Randolph had been engaging in fraudulent practices. For her crimes, she was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison in 1999.
In 2000, a man named David Hutsell and a woman came forward with a story that shocked local police. They stated that Atty. Thomas Randolph paid a man named Sanirell Shannon to kill his wife back in 1982, according to Crime In Detroit. Sanirell Shannon was a man with mental problems and was the former student of Thomas Randolph. He was also the uncle of the two informants. According to court records found at US Courts, the following occurred.
“Hutsell and Norwood lived with Shannon in 1982. Shannon and Hutsell knew defendant from Wayne County Community College. Hutsell stated that he heard conversations between defendant and Shannon around a year prior to January 1982, at which time defendant was conveying to Shannon that he was sick of his wife and wanted Shannon to kill her for him.”
“According to Hutsell, an insurance policy was discussed as a way to pay Shannon, and that defendant gave Shannon money in a brown paper bag to start. Hutsell testified that he drove Shannon to the plaza, where the Empress Garden Restaurant was located, to meet defendant on January 8, 1982. Hutsell further testified that Shannon went into a plaza then came out with defendant, briefly and then defendant returned to the restaurant. According to Hutsell, Shannon then waited for defendant and Sharon Randolph to come to the car, and when they arrived, Shannon ran over to Sharon Randolph outside of the car and said ‘die b***h die,’ and shot her in the face twice.”
Sanriell Shannon was found innocent of the charges. Today, Thomas Randolph is still serving a life sentence at a prison in Michigan. He is now in his mid-70s. You will not want to miss Fatal Attraction‘s recreation of the events. It airs this Monday, March 21 at 9/8 p.m. central.
[Image via Dept. of Michigan Corrections]