Plea entered in Lisa Rucker murder case

Lisa Rucker
Lisa Rucker
Mark Cassidy (L) and Donald "Bubba" Dykes
Mark Cassidy (L) and Donald "Bubba" Dykes
Terry Hutto
Terry Hutto

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - One of the accused murderers in the Lisa Rucker case has entered his plea in a Lexington County courthouse.

Mark Cassidy was sentenced to 5 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty under the Alford Plea according to his attorney, Jack Swerling.

Under the Alford Plea the defendant believes the prosecutors have enough evidence to prove guilt.

Rucker's body was discovered in a car back in 1992. Soon after, authorities charged Terry Hutto, who was already in jail for another murder.

The arrest never added up to the Ruckers. The family says the case was quiet for over a decade. Then a couple of years ago, a press conference the Ruckers saw on TV changed everything.

"We're very happy for the Rucker family, and we're happy for the Lexington County sheriff's officers who worked so diligently on this case that we're able to bring this case to a conclusion today, at least from the standpoint of an arrest," Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said at the conference.

Metts announced the arrests of Mark Cassidy and Donald "Bubba" Dykes for Lisa's murder, saying it was a case of murder for hire and that there was evidence of a trigger man.

That announcement raised eyebrows over in the solicitor's office. "No one's told us anything about a murder for hire," said Solicitor Donnie Myers. "Nobody told us anything about a trigger man. You couldn't prosecute the case without that information."

When Myers failed to get information he requested from the sheriffs office, he says he asked Metts to be at the bond hearing. Myers says Metts didn't show up, and a deputy came instead.

"On the bond hearing, the judge says 'well what are the new facts?' and the deputy who showed up couldn't provide any facts," said Myers.

Myers says the judge was forced to set bond, and Cassidy was out of jail before Christmas. Back then we asked the solicitor if he could understand why the family would be disappointed, especially after waiting 15 years. "Oh sure, I'd be livid if I were them," Myers responded.

The case did eventually make it to a grand jury, which found that there is enough evidence to go to trial. That trial started on June 7th.

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