WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. — The man charged with the murder of 57-year-old Vicki Conner in May claims Conner killed herself.
Nicholas Rucker, 38, sat down for an exclusive interview with LEX 18 from the Whitley County Detention Center. Police allege Rucker shot and killed Conner inside a friend's trailer in Woodbine. That friend testified earlier this month that Rucker, covered in blood, ran out of the bedroom where the death occurred with a gun in his hand.
Rucker was on the lam until July 4. As he spoke to LEX 18's Mike Valente, he maintained his innocence and said he only ran because of his record as a felon.
"It was just panic. I lost everything. I didn't know what to do. He said I had blood on me. That's why...I tried to stop the bleeding," said Rucker.
Rucker says during his two months on the run he laid low in the woods, staying close to waterways and sometimes going without food. It was around the time he was captured that he was considering turning himself in.
"I loved Vicki. She was my world. She was everything to me but our relationship was like everyone else's. Sometimes we argued. Most of the times we didn't," said Rucker.
Conner's family paints another picture of an abusive relationship that was often tumultuous and toxic. They believe Rucker is guilty and will be punished for what they believe was cold-blooded murder.
"No matter what he says, or how he tries to make himself sound better, anyone who knew her or knows our family knows the truth. And no matter who says what, it all boils down to what the evidence will show and what the court decides. We have faith that Mom will get the justice she deserves through the court system and they will see he is guilty," said Vicki Conner's daughter. Ashley Burker.