Juror on Rideout trial: Why we couldn't convict Paul Tucci
Rochester, N.Y. —
Rochester, N.Y. - One of the jurors on the Craig Rideout murder trial says Paul Tucci should have been convicted in the murder of Craig Rideout. That juror says Tucci should not have walked free, but there simply wasn't enough evidence at trial to send him to prison.
"We knew there was blood, Craig's blood on him, on his clothing, but we just couldn't do anything about it," the juror told 13WHAM News exclusively.
He says the jury wanted Craig Rideout's killers to be held accountable, but they were not willing to stretch the law or the evidence to return guilty verdicts.
The juror says he believes Paul Tucci knew about the murder and possibly helped cover it up.
"I think he probably knew about it, which would mean he would be guilty of second degree murder, but there's just no way we could prove that," the juror added. "No shred of evidence to prove it."
He says all of the evidence at trial put Tucci in Yates County, where Craig Rideout's body was dumped and his face disfigured with acid.
"On his sweatpants, there were streaking marks, then there were drops of blood on his shoes, then on the road," he continued. "It looked like he helped take the body out of the trunk."
However, the jury could not put Paul Tucci at the scene of the murder in Penfield, where the charges for tampering with evidence were written.
"We just couldn't do anything about it - that's how the law is, and what the evidence was showing us," the juror said. "Tucci's going to walk free, and that's not okay."
The juror believes crucial evidence is still missing, including a bag of Paul Tucci's clothing and the iron used to strike Craig Rideout.
In an interview with 13WHAM's Jane Flasch, Paul Tucci maintained his innocence and that of Laura Rideout, Craig's estranged wife.
"I didn't kill Craig Rideout," Tucci said after being acquitted. "Laura is a good person. Laura didn't mastermind anything."
The juror says he would have liked to know about evidence never presented at trial, including text messages, internet searches and Facebook posts between the Rideouts.
"We did the best job we could with the information we had, but I would have liked to know about Colin's computer search of involuntary manslaughter," said the juror.
He also said the Facebook post by Alex Rideout around the time Craig Rideout went missing was suspicious and could have helped the prosecution deliver a third guilty verdict for murder.
This juror added that the prosecution did a poor job painting a picture and a timeline of the events, leaving much of it up to the jury to figure out.
He added that deputies were sloppy in their investigation at Devil's Bathtub in Mendon Ponds Park, where the two Rideout brothers were arrested. Deputies testified to stacking pieces of evidence on top of one another, possibly contaminating DNA on key evidence, including clothing worn at the scene of the murder and its failed cover up.
"Maybe we could have gotten all of them...on all charges," the juror said.
The juror says he hopes Yates County files its own tampering with evidence charges against Paul Tucci, given the evidence already gathered.
Sentencing for Laura, Colin and Alex Rideout is set for October 13.