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In defense of Tammy Lucero

Henderson woman awaits sentencing for killing her allegedly abusive boyfriend, faces a possible prison sentence of ten years

January 24, 2013
Tammy Lucero will have to wait another 30 days to learn the extent of the legal price she will pay for slaying David Hudson.

Lucero choked Hudson, her boyfriend with whom she shared an apartment on Judy Lane in Henderson, with a computer cord, early in the afternoon, May 24, after a physical altercation Hudson allegedly initiated.

Details from the declaration of arrest are grisly and disturbing. "Lucero held the cord across the front of Hudson's throat and Hudson offered no resistance. Lucero was able to get behind Hudson and pull the cord tighter until Hudson collapsed across the chair near the front door."

It was undeniably an act of extreme violence, but the circumstances that led to it created a delay of three months before District Attorney Steve Wolfson's office decided to bring charges, once the case was forwarded by Henderson detectives.

The charge brought was open murder. Lucero was denied bail and moved from the Henderson Detention Center to the Clark County Detention Center, which is more crowded and presents, by most accounts, more challenging conditions.

The over-charge seemed to provide results, as charges were reduced to the more appropriate manslaughter shortly before a plea deal was reached.

Lucero remains in the CCDC until the court delivers her sentence next month. She could receive a maximum of ten years in prison.

Yet elements of this case have been troubling from the beginning, leaving in question whether Lucero has been treated fairly by the justice system.

Hudson was arrested Jan. 27, 2012 on domestic battery charges for punching Lucero in the face. During the investigation of that incident, Lucero told detectives Hudson had threatened her life.

Soon after, she was treated with stitches to close a large scalp laceration, allegedly inflicted by Hudson.

Lucero's sister Stephanie told THP she witnessed an escalation of abuse from Hudson after that arrest.

"That is when the fat lip and bruises began to appear," said Stephanie. "He worked to dominate and control her. The relationship didn't get that way overnight."

When spousal abuse is conclusively documented, it should be a heavy factor in weighing a woman's subsequent actions against her abuser. If a man can slice open your head, how much of a stretch is it to fear he may, in a state of rage, take your life?

Was she forced by circumstances to pick up the computer cord and place it around his neck? Maybe not, and maybe for that she should be held accountable. But if she had let go, might she have reasonably believed she would be the one dead on the floor?

The death of Hudson should not be trivialized, but Lucero has spent almost half a year in jail as her case proceeded. We believe circumstances partially mitigate Lucero's actions and a lenient sentence in this case is justified and appropriate.

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