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Man convicted of murder dies in custody at Cook County Jail

Friday, August 10, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times

A 57-year-old man with an extensive criminal history, including a murder conviction in New Jersey and a murder charge in Chicago, died, apparently of natural causes, while in custody at Cook County Jail on Thursday.

Emerson Tucker, 57, whose last address was in the 3000 block of West Warren Boulevard, was found unresponsive in his cell Thursday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. He was taken to Saint Anthony Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:37 p.m.

Tucker had been in custody at the jail since January 2008 on a first-degree murder charge, according to Cook County Sheriff’s office spokesman Frank Bilecki.

And it was not his first murder charge. Tucker was convicted of a homicide in East Orange, N.J., in 1976 and received a 10-year sentence, according to Bilecki.

He did not serve all 10 years, though, since he was also arrested in January 1980 in Newark, N.J., on a weapons possession charge, and in June 1984 on manslaughter and trespassing charges in Miami, Fla.

In June 1986 he had made his way back to New Jersey, where he was charged with making terroristic threats, and that was followed by arrests in 1988 and 1989 in Newark and Jersey City for offenses that included kidnapping, assault, sexual assault, possession of a weapon and attempted homicide.

In September 2006, he was arrested for selling illegal merchandise on CTA property, and in 2008 was charged with murder in Chicago, Bilecki said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Tucker was scheduled for a court hearing on Monday, Aug. 13.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

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