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Man found not guilty in Rideout trial speaks with News10NBC

July 27, 2017 06:58 AM

Paul Tucci, the man found not guilty after being charged with murder in the death of Craig Rideout, sat down for an interview with News10NBC.

Tucci was acquitted on all counts in the case on Tuesday. His girlfriend Laura Rideout -- the estranged wife of Craig -- was found guilty of murder. Her son Colin was also found guilty of murder in his father's death. Alex Rideout was found not guilty of murder but convicted of evidence tampering.



Interview with Paul Tucci

I met with Paul Tucci for about an hour in his attorney's office. He was soft-spoken but talkative. He clearly has mixed feelings about the outcome of the trial.

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That's how our conversation started: With the tense moments surrounding the verdict.

Brett Davidsen: You've had 24 hours to digest this verdict. How are you feeling now? You are a free man, but others are not free.

Paul Tucci: I'm relieved that the jury found in my favor. I don't agree with their findings with the other people I care about.

Brett Davidsen: As the verdicts were preparing to be read, what is your mindset? Did you believe they would find you not guilty?

Paul Tucci: It's probably the most excruciating pressure-filled 30 seconds -- because that's all it took -- of your life. In that moment, you don't know whether you're going home. I drove there. I expect to drive home and I did. As each one came down... Alex went first... and your heart goes out and I was probably worried most about everyone else more than myself.

Tucci added, "I stood up, and I didn't know what they were going to say. It's a jury. It's a crapshoot."

Brett Davidsen: On the radio today and on TV, the sheriff was making the rounds saying he's absolutely convinced you were at the scene when Craig Rideout was killed. What do you say to that?

Paul Tucci: If I was at the scene, then they would have had evidence of that. They didn't prove their case.

Brett Davidsen: Let's talk about the relationship between Craig and Laura. Obviously we heard their divorce was contentious. What was going on between them?

Paul Tucci: Craig's divorce attorney was contentious. The divorce itself was not.

Brett Davidsen: But was there an issue of custody of the two younger children? As the story goes, you folks were moving down to North Carolina and the supposed issue was that you weren't able to take them.

Paul Tucci: That's not true. It was an unsigned agreement, but the idea behind it that we knew the kids were going to stay here. That didn't prevent anyone from going.

Brett Davidsen: You met with Laura today at the jail. What is her mindset today?

Paul Tucci: She was smiling. She's shocked. I think that's a good word for it. Shocked. She needs some reading material. She's safe and hopeful.

Brett Davidsen: Hopeful of what?

Paul Tucci: Getting out.

Brett Davidsen: You've been acquitted. But let me ask this question -- did you kill or take part in the killing of Craig Rideout?

Paul Tucci: No I did not.

Brett Davidsen: Did you assist in disposing of his body or other evidence?

Paul Tucci: No I did not.

Brett Davidsen: Do you know who killed Craig Rideout?

Paul Tucci: I do not. I don't think anyone knows. I don't even think the jury knows.

Brett Davidsen: Do you believe Laura was involved in this plot?

Paul Tucci: No. I know where Laura was.

Brett Davidsen: Where was she?

Paul Tucci: She was at home with me.

Brett Davidsen: The most damning evidence against you are the photos and video of you and Laura at Walmart on the night of July 19th. It's 9:50 pm. Why are you buying a tarp and bungee cords and drain cleaner?

Paul Tucci: Oh my goodness. We were moving -- that's a fact.... I know I had a couple things to do. I did have a clogged sink. I still have a clogged sink upstairs that won't go away. And I had stuff I needed for this move.

Brett Davidsen: How do you explain those items -- or identical items -- were used to cover up Craig's death?

Paul Tucci: I wouldn't say identical. But those are available once I got home. They were at home.

Brett Davidsen: Let's talk about the relationship between Craig and Laura. Obviously we heard their divorce was contentious. What was going on between them?

Paul Tucci: Craig's divorce attorney was contentious. The divorce itself was not.

Brett Davidsen: What was Craig's relationship with his children? He had custody of the young ones. Colin clearly had some issues with him.

Paul Tucci: If I had to give one true word about Craig and his relationship with his children -- it's ambivalence.

Brett Davidsen: Was there some growing tension with Colin?

Paul Tucci: Not that I could see. Colin had a life ahead of him. Colin was getting married.

Brett Davidsen: You've had a close relationship with the Rideout family for many years. This is a family that is now torn apart. How do the other kids recover from something like this?

Paul Tucci: I don't see that the kids have lost anything there other than they miss their mom.

Brett Davidsen: They lost their father too....Was that not a loss?

Paul Tucci: I didn't see those kids shed a tear anyway. Not one of them.

Credits

Brett Davidsen

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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