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Mom who abused girl ordered to stand trial in 1995 death


COLDWATER, Mich. (AP) -- A mother who pleaded guilty to what authorities called one of the worst cases of child abuse in Utah history has been ordered to stand trial here in another daughter's death.

A judge Thursday ordered Rebecca Tucker to stand trial on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse in the 1995 death of 3-year-old Danielle Tucker in Coldwater, The Daily Reporter of Coldwater reported. Tucker and her husband were living in Coldwater at the time.Rebecca Tucker, who is serving a five-year sentence in Utah for nearly starving her daughter to death, could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors said Rebecca Tucker pushed Danielle, who was adopted, down a flight of stairs at the family's home in 1995, originally telling police the fall was an accident.

The little girl died of head injuries suffered in the fall. The investigation into her death began after Rebecca Tucker was charged with child abuse in Utah.

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

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.

Her husband, Christopher Tucker is serving a sentence of one to 15 years in Utah for abusing the older child.

1999 Sep 4