Ex-GOP Candidate and Former WWE Wrestler Surrenders Over Vegas Murder

Getty Images/Ethan Miller
Getty Images/Ethan Miller

Daniel Rodimer, the disgraced GOP congressional candidate who was endorsed by Donald Trump despite a previous arrest for a Waffle House assault, handed himself in on Wednesday night after being sought by Las Vegas police in connection to a murder.

Rodimer, 45, is accused of murdering 47-year-old Christopher Tapp during an altercation inside a hotel room at the Hilton Resorts World on the Las Vegas strip on Oct. 29, police announced Wednesday.

In a statement, police said Tapp, of Idaho, died at a Vegas hospital from “blunt force trauma to the head.” It said the incident was called in as an accident, but investigating detectives determined otherwise in the months that followed.

A criminal complaint filed by the Clark County District Attorney’s office alleged that Rodimer struck Tapp “on the head,” adding that the slaying was “willful, deliberate, and premeditated,” reported 3 News.

Rodimer, a former wrestler who performed under the name Dan Rodman in the WWE, lost his campaign to represent Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District in 2020 against Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV). After that, he reportedly moved to Texas to launch another failed bid to make it into Congress—where he was accused of using a phony Texas accent to try and win over voters.

On Wednesday night, lawyers for Rodimer confirmed to the Associated Press that he was “voluntarily surrendering to authorities and will post a court ordered bail. He intends on vigorously contesting the allegations and asks that the presumption of innocence guaranteed all Americans be respected,” they said. Lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast.

Video obtained by 8 News Now shows Rodimer as he turns himself in at the Clark County Detention Center around 6 p.m. Wednesday. MyNews4 reports he has posted $200K bond and is due back in court on Thursday, according to court records.

Rodimer’s criminal past includes an arrest in 2011, when he was charged with misdemeanor battery for throwing a man to the floor at a Waffle House in Naples, Florida, that was not far from his law school, Ave Maria University.

Witness statements reviewed by The Daily Beast revealed that Rodimer, who appeared to be drunk, explained at the scene that he loved to “fuck” people up. That statement came shortly after he threw the man who confronted him about harassing diners in the restaurant.

Witness: GOP Candidate Bragged He Liked to ‘Fuck’ People Up

“When I asked him to leave the girls at our table alone and to please just move on, he grabbed me by the neck and threw me into a chair and onto the floor,” Rodimer’s victim told police in a statement, which was backed up by others who spoke to police.

Before he left the Waffle House, Rodimer was said to have thrown down a business card with his name and face on it—a clue police later used to identify him for the attack—and then boasted about how much he liked “hurting people,” a police report said.

“As Dan was leaving the restaurant he was using profanity and stated how much he enjoys hurting people,” cops wrote.

Las Vegas cops did not say what led to Rodimer and Tapp’s violent encounter, nor did they say if the men knew each other. Tapp was wrongfully convicted of a 1996 murder in Idaho, which forced him to serve 20 years behind bars before he was exonerated by DNA evidence.

A month prior to his slaying, Tapp recorded an interview with Dateline at his Idaho home, where he reportedly detailed his time behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Before that show ever went to air, however, he died in a Vegas hospital, allegedly after being beaten in the head by Rodimer.

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