July 28, 2017 07:48 AM
The sister of the man murdered in his Penfield home last summer says she thinks the suspect found not guilty in the case was involved with her brother's death.
Craig Rideout's body was found wrapped in a tarp in a wooded area in the Town of Jerusalem in Yates County. Deputies say he had been beaten, strangled and his face had been burned with acid.
Craig's estranged wife Laura, his sons Colin and Alex and Laura's boyfriend Paul Tucci were arrested for the crime and charged with murder. Tuesday, Laura and Colin Rideout were convicted of murder in the case. Alex Rideout was cleared of murder but convicted on tampering with evidence charges.
Tucci was acquitted of all charges in the case by a jury.
In an interview Thursday afternoon, the sister of Craig Rideout sat down with Rebecca Leclair to reflect on the case, the verdict and respond to an interview Paul Tucci gave on Wednesday.
When Robbyn Drew watched our interview with Paul Tucci, she got very angry because she thinks he was intricately involved in the murder of her brother. She says this ordeal has destroyed the Rideout family and those left behind will never be the same.
Robbyn Drew says she helped raise the seven Rideout children and showed us family photos and spoke of happier times for her brother Craig.
"He helped his boys through Boy Scouts," Drew told us. "His second son achieved Eagle Scout. There's a picture of him pinning his son at the ceremony and he was so proud."
Laura Rideout began divorce proceedings in 2014 and moved in with Paul Tucci. As the custody battle ensued, the family fractured to the point these court papers indicate the children were in a plot against their father so Laura could get custody.
Rebecca Leclair: "What would you say to her if you could meet her in jail?"
Drew: "I would ask her if it was ultimately worth it. Not only has my brother been killed but she and her son have been found guilty. They are currently in jail."
She adds, "To have this happen, 'Was it worth it to ruin so many lives, as well as your own?' (That) is what I would say to Laura."
As for Paul Tucci, acquitted of all charges, this is what he said when Brett Davidsen asked if had been involved: "If I was at the scene, then they would have had evidence of that. They didn't prove their case."
That angered Robbyn. Her nieces and nephews are basically orphans: No father and a mother who could be in prison the rest of her life.
Rebecca Leclair: "There's a good chance you could run into Paul Tucci in Wegmans."
Drew: "Already happened. I was with my daughter, we walked by and as best we could, just walked by didn't do anything. Didn't acknowledge, like we walked by people we didn't know and never knew."
Robbyn Drew is upset the text messages, and emails between the children, Laura and Paul Tucci mentioned in court papers couldn't be presented as evidence at trial. But the judge said there's no proof who sent which text message to whom and even a search of the term "involuntary manslaughter" on Colin's computer just days before the murder couldn't be admitted.
So the sadness continues for Robbyn Drew, the aunt. She hasn't spoken to any of the Rideout children since the week her brother was murdered last July.
Updated: July 28, 2017 07:48 AM
Created: July 27, 2017 04:29 PM
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