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Acquitted Officer Back on Duty

August 12, 1987

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) _ An officer acquitted of murder in the death of his partner and best friend has returned to work, but not to patrolling the streets.

Farrell Tucker, 36, was acquitted in June of murder in the August 1986 death of Stephen R. Smith, 31. Officials said Smith was a suspected vigilante who allegedly planned to kill three top law enforcement officials.

Tucker returned to work Tuesday in the records department.

″It’s been a multifaceted tragedy, but that’s all in the past and there’s no reason to dwell on that,″ Tucker said shortly after beginning his shift.

″It’s been real good. I’m seeing people I haven’t seen in a long time, and I’ve not had anyone approach me or say anything nasty,″ he said.

Tucker was suspended without pay after he was indicted in October 1986 in the death of Smith on Aug. 18, 1986. Tucker said he shot Smith five times in self-defense after Smith pointed a loaded pistol at him.

Smith allegedly planned to kill then-Bexar County District Attorney Sam Millsap, then-Assistant Chief Frank Hoyack and Deputy Chief Robert Heuck.

Smith blamed the three officials for wrecking his career, testimony in Tucker’s trial revealed.

Tucker was acquitted after a two-week trial; he was reinstated to the force on July 13. He was on administrative leave with pay pending a psychological evaluation, which he took last month.

The Civil Service Commission earlier this week awarded Tucker about $15,000 in back pay.

Police Chief William O. Gibson declined to release details of Tucker’s psychological test, but said Tucker was fit to return to administrative duty.

″I can’t see him going back to patrol in the near future,″ said Gibson.

Tucker agreed that because of publicity in the case he should not be assigned to patrol duty.