These are the kinds of news stories that I like reading! Curtis Tucker, who is a 63-year old veteran living in Oakland, California was arrested and charged for the murder and sexual assault of 13-year old, Julie McElhiney. He was arrested at the Oakland Veterans Affairs clinic. On August 9, 1974 her mother found her in the home deceased with a blow to the head. For decades the case was cold, and there were no leads. In April 2010, the cold case unit found evidence that might have viable DNA and submitted it to the crime lab for analysis. Unfortunately, as on CSI, DNA results are not received in minutes, and many crime labs are severely backlogged with work. This was the case in Julia’s case. The match did not come in until November, and they had to do additional tests to ensure that the sample was for sure Tucker. Law enforcement also had to determine if Tucker was still alive and where he was living.
Tucker has a long criminal history going back to the 70s, including a felony burglary conviction in Oakland in 1972 that sent him to prison. He posed as a deliveryman and broke into a woman’s apartment and tried to sexually assault. Her roommate disabled him by hitting him in the head with a lamp. An arrest for the sexual assault of an 18-year old girl in Washington is what got his DNA in the national database, however, it is unclear whether he was actually charged with the rape in this instance. The wheels of justice sometimes turn slowly, but it is a good feeling to know that this man is off the streets and he will pay for his crime.
On Monday, Alameda County prosecutors charged Tucker with murder along with the special circumstances of lewd and lascivious acts on a child and murder in the course of a burglary.
The charges make him eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek lethal injection.