The manhunt for accused murder suspect Nicholas M. Rucker, who has been on the run since the May 22 killing of Vicki S. Conner in Woodbine, is over. He was captured overnight near Corbin.
About 12:30 a.m. on July 4, Knox County Sheriff’s deputies Mikey Ashurst and Hunter Luttrell received a tip that someone had spotted the fugitive at a residence on Meadow Lark Circle, according to a Knox County Sheriff’s Department release.
The deputies responded and began surveillance of the residence.
Ashurst then observed a male subject, who he recognized as Rucker, exit the wood line behind the house and walk through the back yard of the residence.
Deputies made verbal contact with Rucker and he fled into the house as soon as commands were given.
Luttrel ran to the front of the residence, and Ashurst to another side of the house where he observed Rucker exiting the house running past him through some bushes, the release stated.
“Both Luttrel and Ashurst gave chase with Deputy Ashurst chasing Rucker down Meadow Lark Circle then into a yard where both subjects went to the ground. Rucker refused to be placed in handcuffs, and after a brief scuffle, Rucker was placed under arrest and taken into custody,” according to the release.
Rucker, 38, has been charged with murder-domestic violence, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, second-degree fleeing or evading police (on foot), second-degree disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was booked into the Knox County Detention Center at 5:04 a.m. where he is being held in lieu of a $750,000 cash bond, according to the detention center’s website.
There is a $500,000 cash bond on the murder charge and a $250,000 cash bond on the possession of a handgun by a convicted felon charge.
On May 22, police were called to a residence on Ky. 1064 in response to a 911 call that a woman had been shot.
Rucker and Conner were dating and had reportedly been staying at the residence, which was owned by another individual, who is the person that called police, according to Kentucky State Police.
Rucker allegedly fled the scene before police arrived. Police set up a perimeter in an effort to capture him, but he was able to elude them.
There were multiple sightings of Rucker in Whitley County, who was reportedly barefoot and shirtless, over the next several weeks.
In one instance, Whitley County Sheriff Todd Shelley reported seeing Rucker in Woodbine, while he was answering another call.
Shelley gave chase as Rucker ran off on foot, while requesting additional law enforcement responded to the area.
Rucker had previously been seen in the Croley Bend Road area between Williamsburg and the Cumberland River.
Officials familiar with the area said the river is shallow enough in several areas where it may easily be traversed. In addition, there are the bridges where I-75 crosses that river that Rucker might have been using.
In another instance, Rucker was spotted by Corbin Police near the old Holiday Inn in Corbin, but eluded capture.
There was even one report of Rucker possibly being spotted as far away as McMinn County, Tennessee.
The search for Rucker was featured on the A&E cable network show, “Live PD” on June 1.
Analyst Thom Morris Jr. recounted the incident, and provided pictures and a description of Rucker.
Rucker served 17 years of a 20-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to the murder of an infant child in a “shaken baby” case in Laurel County in 1998.