Mother is charged in '95 death Michigan murder trial a result of Utah abuse case

Date: 1999-07-29
Source: Desert News

COLDWATER, Mich. (AP) -- A woman is being held without bond in the death of her little girl in Branch County in 1995.

Becky Tucker, 36, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of second-degree murder and child abuse. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 12. She could face up to life in prison if convicted.Prosecutors said Tucker pushed her 3-year-old adopted daughter down a flight of stairs at the family's home in 1995, originally telling police the fall was an accident.

Danielle Tucker died of head injuries suffered in the fall. The investigation into her death began after Tucker was charged with child abuse in Utah, in a case authorities there called one of the worst in state history.

Officials said her daughter Brittany, Danielle's older half-sister, was 6 when she was found in 1997 living in a filthy locked basement room in the family's Trenton, Cache County, home.

The girl weighed just 32 pounds. Police say she was regularly burned and beaten, and had lice in her hair and sores on her feet. Authorities said the couple's two sons, both natural, were treated well.

Tucker was returned to Michigan on Tuesday. She has been serving a five-year sentence in the Utah case. Her husband was sentenced in the Utah case but isn't charged in Michigan.

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