Local News

Teen Accused Of Wake Deputy's Death To Get Third Attorney; Widow Will Not Attend Trial

Posted June 25, 2004

— A Raleigh teenager accused of gunning down a Wake County sheriff's deputy will stand trial in October, but the deputy's widow says she will not be in attendance.

Wake County Deputy Mark Tucker was killed in a field near his home in February. A single cross placed at the site, which is now a soccer field, is a daily reminder to Pat Tucker that her husband is gone.

Pat Tucker says what she misses most about her husband is "his blue eyes and his smile" and that is how she wants to remember him.

"I don't think we realize that we don't have control over anything in our lives until something knocks the foundation out from under your world and rocks it," she said.

When 18-year-old Matthew Grant goes to trial in October charged with Tucker's murder, Pat Tucker will not be in the courtroom.

"I've already lived through this once, and I don't know that I need to relive it," she said.

Defense attorneys for Grant argued they are not ready to go to trial in October.

Judge Donald Stephens refused to move the trial date, but agreed to give Grant a third defense attorney.

"There were two men in the rowboat rowing as fast as they could row. Now, there's going to be a third man in the rowboat. Maybe he can make the boat go a little faster," defense attorney Barry Winston said.

Grant's defense attorneys say his upbringing was "marked by emotional and mental health problems," and that he "may have suffered from abuse." They say they need time to sort out his complex history.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby says Grant's case is not complex.

"That he was on probation and that he knew Deputy Tucker was a law enforcement officer and that [Tucker] was killed so he could escape from being arrested and not go back to prison," Willoughby said.

"My heart just breaks for his family and for him," Pat Tucker said.

Tucker does not judge Grant and says justice will not be found in a courtroom.

"He doesn't need to fear how he will be judged by man, he needs to fear how God is going to judge him, because that's where his ultimate judge is going to be," Tucker said.

Tucker's sons, Chad and Matthew, have not decided whether they will sit through the trial. According to their mother, both men want to go into law enforcement.

Grant's trial is scheduled to begin Oct 11.

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