Policeman Indicted In Ex-Partner’s Shooting Death
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) _ A police officer was indicted on murder charges Wednesday in the shooting death of a former partner he accused of plotting the assassinations of police officials and a prosecutor.
Two others were indicted on charges they participated in or lied about violent acts allegedly committed by the slain officer, who had been suspended from the force when shot Aug. 18.
Farrell Tucker says he shot Stephen Smith five times in self-defense when Smith held a gun on him while the two were riding in a car, Smith driving.
Smith had been scheduled to go on trial Oct. 20 on a charge of criminal brutality in the alleged beating of a shoplifting suspect and had been questioned in connection with the fatal shooting of a burglary suspect.
Tucker said Smith blamed police officials for his legal problems and was frustrated by the legal limits on police behavior.
The morning of the shooting, Tucker had met with Bexar County District Attorney Sam Millsap, now-interim Police Chief Frank Hoyack and Deputy Chief Robert Heuck to tell them they were the targets of an assassination plot Smith allegedly was planning.
Tucker has said that after getting into Smith’s car, Smith demanded Tucker’s .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. Tucker said Smith held that gun on him, so Tucker took out his .357-caliber Magnum service revolver and fired in self-defense.
″Farrell Tucker is a victim, scapegoat and pawn of the carnival-like atmosphere that has surrounded the grand jury’s review of this incident almost from its inception,″ defense attorney Joseph Scuro said.
Special prosecutor Sid Harle, who led the seven-week grand jury probe, and Texas Rangers met with an FBI blood-spatter expert on Tuesday.
The San Antonio Light quoted unidentified sources as saying that the expert’s report showed no substantial blood splatters on the top of the .45- caliber gun, indicating Smith could not have been holding the gun on Tucker when the shooting occurred.
The county grand jury also indicted Clyde Wesley Skeen, 34, of San Antonio, on a charge of aggravated perjury in connection with a shotgun prosecutors say was stolen from the Police Department and used by Smith in an August 1983 attack on Heuck’s home. Skeen contends he purchased the weapon from a flea market.
Richard A. Redwine, 39, a former Bexar County reserve deputy, was indicted on a charge of criminal mischief in a Sept. 11, 1984, shotgun attack on a van owned by Thomas Whitworth, a retired police sergeant who worked with the internal investigations division. Harle said evidence would show that Redwine and Smith acted together in that incident.