Payne County Special District Judge Phillip Corley ordered an attorney to advise a state's witness in a murder hearing before he testifies.
"This court believes he could be charged with a crime as well," Corley said.
He was talking about Joseph Lee Tucker, a teenager who was scheduled to testify against his mother and her boyfriend at a preliminary hearing Friday.
Tucker's little sister, 15-year-old Linda Renee Tucker of Waukomis, died June 26 after a methamphetamine overdose, the state medical examiner's office determined. She and her family were at Lake Carl Blackwell for a family reunion.
Her mother, Doris Sharrane Rigsby, 33 of Waukomis; Jeffery Alan Phillips, 30, of Enid; and Heather Lynn Gaddis, 30, of Tulsa are charged with first-degree murder. All three are being held in Payne County Jail without bond. They came to court in orange jumpsuits.
Rigsby is Tucker’s mother, and Phillips is Rigsby’s boyfriend. Gaddis is accused of selling meth to Joseph Tucker — the meth that is believed to be responsible for Linda Tucker's death.
A state statute allows murder charges to be brought against a person if someone dies during the commission of a felony, regardless of whether there was intent to kill.
According to arrest warrant affidavits, Joseph Tucker told police his sister started acting funny after using meth at the lake, but Rigsby and Phillips dismissed Joseph’s concerns, saying Linda was high and needed to “ride it out.”
Later when Joseph Tucker told his mom Linda Tucker’s lips had turned blue, they took her to a convenience store near Sixth Avenue and Country Club Road to get help, the affidavit states.
Rigsby and Phillips told police they went on a walk at the lake, and when they returned, they found Linda Tucker lying in the back of an SUV.
In court Friday, Corley asked prosecutor Tom Lee if Joseph Tucker had been granted immunity from charges. When he asked, Tucker had just sat down at the witness stand, and Lee was preparing to start questioning him. Lee said Joseph Tucker had not been formally granted immunity.
Corley was also concerned about Joseph Tucker's age. Joseph Tucker was 17 when he talked with prosecutors several months ago, but court documents show Joseph Tucker turned 18 last month.
Public Defender Debra Vincent will speak with Joseph Tucker. The hearing was set to continue Friday afternoon.
Before the recess, the court heard from two state witnesses.
Jared Cullison, the first witness, said he gave Linda Tucker CPR at the gas station that June night, but he believes she was already dead. Cullison and Stillwater police officer William Cluck testified Rigsby and Phillips showed little emotion at the gas station.
Cluck said when he arrived at the gas station, "Mr. Cullison was administering CPR, and Ms. Rigsby was drinking a fountain drink."
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