Former Christian County Sheriff's Deputy Steven E. Tucker, 50, appeared in court Wednesday afternoon before Judge Andrew Self after special prosecutor Justin D. Crocker filed a motion April 23 to revoke his pretrial diversion on the grounds that Tucker failed to pay restitution as a requirement of his sentence.
Tucker was required to pay restitution to the Christian County Juvenile Drug Court in the amount of roughly $55,000 within 60 days following his sentencing Feb. 20; however, Christian County Treasurer Walter Cummings confirmed that Tucker has paid zero to date.
On Feb. 20, Tucker accepted a guilty plea that amended his charge of theft by unlawful taking over $10,000 but under $1,000,000 down to theft by unlawful taking over $500 but under $10,000. In addition to paying restitution, the plea deal gave him a diversion after he serves 180 days in jail.
A diversion means that as long as the defendant doesn't commit any additional offenses over a certain probationary period, the case will be diverted and the defendant's charges will be removed from their record. Tucker's deal recommended that as long as he paid restitution and spent 180 days in jail, he would be granted a diversion after a five-year period.
However, in court Wednesday, Self ultimately decided to defer the motion to revoke Tucker’s diversion after a lengthy restitution discussion and an emotional apology Tucker gave during his appearance.
“I need to apologize to this court,” Tucker said. "I need to apologize to the Juvenile Services Foundation, to the drug court as a whole — my actions were wrong and I am truly sorry."
Tucker continued his apology to his friends within the drug court and court system as a whole, his family, law enforcement and all of the people he betrayed by his actions.
“This has cost me, as everyone knows, my retirement, my health insurance for 24 years of service and I understand that,” Tucker said. “All I can say is that I have many fences to mend, and I hope with time and God’s good grace I can do that at some point in time.”
Tucker also told Self he is going to pay his restitution as quickly as possible after they discussed that the funds in his retirement were not quite enough to cover the total restitution.
Self told Tucker he appreciates Tucker’s apology and his taking responsibility for his actions was a step forward.
“I appreciate your statement,” Self said. “The payment of restitution is important, as you’ve said and as I’ve said; it’s going to happen. I appreciate your pledge to make sure that it happens. But, I think almost as equally as important is owning what you’ve done, and I feel like today you took a significant step forward in owning what you’ve done.”
During Tucker’s appearance in court, Self told the court that a check he had received by Tucker’s defense attorney H.B. Quinn for $4,000 would be turned over to the commonwealth and would be put toward Tucker’s restitution.
At that time, Self told Tucker and the court he would defer the motion to revoke Tucker’s diversion dependant on Tucker paying his restitution.
Self scheduled Tucker to appear again Aug. 7 to discuss updates of Tucker’s payments.
In other court news:
Three of six suspects involved in the Bethel Street murder and robbery Jan. 24 appeared in court Wednesday morning in Judge John Atkins' courtroom for their first pretrial conference.
Shakkory D. Willis, 26, James J. Yates, 22, and Lane D. Carter, 20, all appeared in Adkins’ courtroom for their involvement in the murder and robbery of Dylan Stewart, 19, and Corvyan Thomas, 20.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Boling told Adkins he wanted to set a trial date for the case but wouldn’t be able to do so without all six defense attorneys present in order to find a date that works for everyone.
The other three suspects involved in the case are juveniles and are currently being held at McCracken Regional Juvenile Detention Center and were not required to be in adult circuit court Wednesday.
Adkins agreed to continue the case to another pretrial conference date that will require all six attorneys be present. That conference is scheduled for May 28.
Willis is currently charged with murder, first-degree robbery and second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor. Yates and Carter are both charged with first-degree complicity to burglary, first-degree complicity to robbery and second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
According to New Era archives and police reports, officers found Dylan Stewart, 19, shot in the leg and Corvyan Thomas, 20, unresponsive with a gunshot wound. Stewart was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Thomas later died from injuries he sustained.
The reports state Carter drove the vehicle that took the suspects to the Bethel Street home while Yates entered the home during the robbery. Officers also arrested three juveniles involved in the shooting, however, none of their names were released.
Two of the juveniles were charged with first-degree complicity to robbery and the other was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and possession of a forged instrument. Reports also revealed one of the juveniles involved in the robbery is 14 years old.
No other information about the juveniles has been released.
Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra