Local News

Jury Ready To Return Sentencing Verdict

Posted December 1, 2004 2:12 a.m. EST

— Jurors in the Matthew Grant trial continued deliberating Wednesday whether Grant will die or spend life in prison for the murder of a deputy.

The jury was in court at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and heard instructions from the judge in the case before starting deliberations at 4:15 p.m. The jurors were sent home at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday and were back in the courtroom deliberating at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The jury took seven hours to decide Grant was guilty.

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.

Three witnesses testified Monday 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 who 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 strived to be a good person.

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

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.