Suspect Accused In Wake Deputy's Shooting May Face Lesser Charge
Posted September 9, 2004 5:48 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Matthew Grant is charged with shooting and killing Deputy Mark Tucker in February. His attorneys just put the state on notice that they may use a defense called diminished capacity, which could allow jurors to consider a charge lesser than first-degree murder.
"It would be some allegation that the defendant lacked the mental capacity to commit the particular offense for which he is charged," district attorney Colon Willoughby said.
Defense attorneys also asked Chief Resident Judge Donald Stephens if he feels it is a conflict of interest for him to preside over the trial. Stephens said he knew Tucker professionally, but he had no personal relationship with him.
"This is a case where I decided the senior resident judge of this district should preside over this case, being one of the most senior judges available and knowing of no reason why I should not, if anyone knows of any reason why I should not, I'll be glad to hear that on the record," Stephens said.
The judge and attorneys are still deciding where Grant will be housed during the trial. For now, he is at the Orange County Jail in Hillsborough, close to his attorneys' office.
"The defendant has been housed outside of the Wake County Jail as a safekeeper for his own safety and just so there was no issue about his care," Willoughby said.
Defense attorneys said Grant is being evaluated by a doctor they have hired to review the case. Prosecutors intend to ask the judge to appoint an independent doctor to do a separate evaluation. Jury selection begins Oct. 11.