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Whitley Co. man held in girlfriend's slaying arraigned

Posted at 11:18 AM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 18:24:00-04

KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Whitley County man accused of killing his girlfriend was arraigned on Monday in two different counties.

Authorities have accused 38-year-old Nicholas Rucker in the murder of Vicki Conner in May 2019. Police say Rucker evaded capture for more than a month before being taken into custody July 4.

On Monday morning in Knox County, Rucker was arraigned on charges of second-degree fleeing and evading police, second-degree disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He also requested a public defender and was granted $5,000 cash bail with home incarceration. His next appearance on the Knox County charges is set for July 23.

We spoke to Conner's daughter, Ashley Burke, shortly after the hearing.

"We're just waiting now. It's a waiting game, said Burke. "I think it's going to be hard to hear the whole situation, and go through that. But we're just making sure that the kids are processing it, and that the family's starting to heal."

Rucker was then transported to the Whitley County Detention Center, and was added to the afternoon court docket just minutes before the judge entered the courtroom.

In Whitley County District Court, Rucker pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, convicted felon in possession of a handgun, and tampering with physical evidence. He was appointed a public defender. His bond was set at $1 million cash.

The preliminary hearing in Whitley County is set for July 16, at 10 a.m. The Commonwealth's Attorney tells us that Rucker will be held in the Whitley County Detention Center.

In a prior unrelated incident, in January 2019, Rucker was arrested in Knox County on charges of drug paraphernalia possession, and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. He was later indicted by a grand jury.

The indictment reads that Rucker was convicted of murder in Laurel County back in April 1999.