BELOIT—A Beloit man charged in connection with a fatal shooting in December of 2020 on Tenth Street in Beloit has waived his speedy trial demand just as his case was headed before a Rock County jury.

Mario T. Tucker, 34, appeared in custody at the Rock County jail by video conference before Judge Karl Hanson on Thursday. Tucker is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Edward D. Wiggins, 50, of Beloit, at a care home in the 1000 block of Tenth Street on Dec. 7, 2020.

On Thursday, defense attorney Michael S. Murphy said he was planning to retain the services of an expert witness who would not be available at the Oct. 11 trial, prompting the delay.

“We would never get that expert witness on board by Oct. 11, and Mr. Tucker realizes that,” Murphy said. “That will allow me some time to determine whether or not we are going to get a favorable opinion from that expert, and if not, we would proceed to trial at that point and we would ask for a trial date.”

The move on Thursday differs from Tucker’s previous plan in court, with Tucker’s speedy trial demand being made on May 21.

Murphy also noted that Tucker’s health was “not good” while in custody at the jail where he’s being held on a $250,000 cash bond.

As previously reported by the Beloit Daily News, a resident of the group home told police that he overheard an argument after Wiggins approached Tucker about “always being disrespectful and cursing” while at the residence. Tucker then allegedly became upset and made comments back to Wiggins before shooting him multiple times, the criminal complaint states.

Another resident of the home told police he heard Tucker stating that he was “tired of the disrespect and told (Wiggins) that he better stop disrespecting him,” before shooting Wiggins.

Tucker then fled on foot and was located by police on the Portland Avenue bridge where he allegedly threw an object resembling a handgun into the Rock River.

Rock County Assistant District Attorney Mary Bricco said the state was ready to proceed to trial, but noted that the state’s “hands were tied” if Tucker waived his speedy trial demand.

“We also want this matter over. We want to get it to trial. We want the victim’s family to be able to move on from this matter, but I think there’s little we can do at this point,” Bricco said.

Tucker will appear next in court on Dec. 2.

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