Local News

Defense Witnesses Paint Grant As A Good Person

Posted November 29, 2004

— Jurors in the Matthew Grant murder trial heard from three prosecution witnesses and several witnesses from the defense in court Monday.

On Nov. 17, Grant was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Wake County Deputy Mark Tucker. The jury has to decide if he will face the death penalty.

On Monday, three witnesses testified that Tucker was on duty as an officer when he was shot. The prosecution then rested its case in the sentencing phase.

The defense witnesses that were called to the stand talked about good times with Grant, painting a picture of a real person for the jury.

Grant's grandmother, who was also his adoptive mother, told jurors her grandson strove to be a good person.

"I think Matt struggled his whole life to follow the so-called right path," said Gail Grant. "That's what Matt wanted to do -- Matt wanted to be a good kid."

From church members to teachers to family friends, the witnesses told jurors Grant was a polite young man with potential.

The defense will now present mitigating factors to the jury in hope that they decide Grant is sentenced to life in prison.

In February 2004, authorities said Grant, 19, of Apex was on probation at the time of the shooting that occurred in a field near Tucker's Holly Springs home and was not supposed to have a firearm.

Authorities said Grant shot and killed Tucker when the deputy stopped to see what he was doing.

Closing arguments will begin in the trial at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The jury will then receive sentencing instructions before deliberating.

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