A Connecticut man charged with killing his mother apparently has the legal requirements necessary to act as his own attorney: a degree from Harvard Law School.
Kyle Tucker, 34, of Hamden, allegedly told police he killed Donna Tucker, 60, at the house they shared in June because he was possessed by God, saying he beat her with a bat before burning her body in a fire pit for as long as eight hours, turning her corpse into a “fine ash,” according to an arrest warrant.
A public defender later filed a motion on Tucker’s behalf a week after his arrest to “waive his right to counsel and be permitted to exercise his constitutional right to represent himself,” according to the New Haven Register.
The motion, filed on June 19, also asked that the public defender, Beth Merkin, or someone from her office be appointed as Tucker’s standby counsel. And if a judge ultimately approves Tucker’s request, it could be his chance to put his education to use. He received a law degree from Harvard in 2009, a university staffer confirmed to the newspaper.
Tucker said he killed his mother in self-defense after she failed to kill him more than 20 times, attempts that included poisoning and putting parasites into his bedding and food, according to a “very detailed confession” cops say he provided about the gruesome killing.
“[God] got into my body and walked me downstairs with my baseball bat and it was very quick and almost even hard to remember,” Kyle Tucker told police. “I don’t really feel like it was totally my mind or body doing anything, it was [God] walking through me.”
After striking her in the head with the bat in the kitchen, Tucker said he hit his mother a second time after she fell to the floor, this time on the nose “very hard … to make sure she would die quickly,” the arrest warrant continued.
Tucker then dragged his mother’s body to a fire pit and doused it with gasoline and turpentine before setting it ablaze. He later drove to buy more gasoline and told police he burned the body along with the baseball bat and his shoes for roughly eight hours – until only a “fine ash” remained, according to police.
A judge ordered during a court appearance last week that Tucker be examined to determine if he’s competent to stand trial.
“I hope this evaluation will help me decide about his competency to represent himself,” Superior Court Judge Patrick Clifford said.
Tucker’s aunt, meanwhile, has said her nephew had been previously hospitalized for mental illness and at least three incidents involving Hamden police between July 2015 and August 2017 referenced Kyle Tucker’s apparent emotional and mental issues, the arrest warrant shows.
Tucker remains in custody on $5 million bail.