WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - A key witness took the stand to testify during a preliminary hearing in a high-profile Whitley County murder case.
Nicholas Rucker (Knox County Detention Center), Vicki Conner (Family Photo)
Police accuse Nicholas Rucker of murdering his girlfriend Vicki Conner on May 22. He was captured July 4 after weeks on the run.
A Kentucky State Police detective and the man who lived at the home when the shooting happened both testified during the Tuesday morning hearing.
The detective said authorities did recover what may be the murder weapon, a handgun found buried in leaves and dirt near the home of Roger Whitt. Both Vicki Conner and her boyfriend Nicholas Rucker had been saying with Whitt doing odd jobs and helping him with various household chores.
Whitt would take the stand after police testimony, and he said he heard the gunshot. It happened after there had been an argument earlier in the day among some others in the home over someone making too much noise. The shooting happened not long after there was a discussion of making out a grocery list. Whitt described seeing Rucker walk out of a bedroom after hearing the gunshot.
“And at that time, Nick came out of the bedroom, with his hands covered in blood, from about halfway down his forearm, on down," Whitt testified.
Judge Kathy Prewitt did find probable cause to send the case to a grand jury, which will consider the case next month. Rucker remains in the Whitley County Detention Center.