Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Attempted murder added to charges

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - Evidence found at Alvin Tucker's house after a Christmas Eve attack on his ex-wife has led officials to believe that he meant to kill the woman, Warren County authorities say.

A Warren grand jury upgraded charges against Mr. Tucker on Monday, indicting him on a charge of attempted murder, along with felony counts of kidnapping, felonious assault, aggravated robbery and domestic violence in the stabbing and beating of Virginia Gilbert.

The 50-year-old Mason father of two remained in the Warren County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.

Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel wouldn't divulge what was found inside the Birchwood Farms Drive home because a judge sealed a search warrant in the case. However, she said that "evidence gained (there) supports a charge of attempted murder."

Mr. Tucker is accused of ambushing Ms. Gilbert when she arrived to pick up their daughters, age 5 and 7, from a scheduled visit with their father. Divorced for about one year, the couple shared parenting responsibilities, authorities said.

Ms. Hutzel alleged that Mr. Tucker dragged Ms. Gilbert into the house, pushed her down a flight of stairs, beat her in the head with the metal bar from a free weight, and stabbed her with an awl at least 26 times in the head, chest and shoulders.

Their 7-year-old daughter escaped from the house and went to a neighbor for help.

Mason officers found Ms. Gilbert semi-conscious in the front yard. Ms. Gilbert spent several days in the hospital, and continues to recover at an undisclosed location with her children.

Mr. Tucker was found two days later asleep in Ms. Gilbert's stolen car at a rest stop in Washington Courthouse after he placed a couple of 911 calls saying he wanted to turn himself in, authorities say.

He pleaded not guilty in a court appearance last week.

In another grand jury matter, a 19-year-old Greene County man was charged with five counts of theft.

Reed Finnell of Spring Valley is accused of stealing purses from grocery carts in early November as women loaded parcels into their cars at Lebanon and Springboro Kroger stores.

Some of the women were able to get a license plate number, which led police to Mr. Reed, Ms. Hutzel said.

E-mail smclaughlin@enquirer.com

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