Judge dismissed Tucker Reed’s lawsuit against lawyer
I watched the Dateline NBC “Killer Role” special last week about Tucker Reed, who is in prison for killing her uncle in Ruch. At the end of the show they mentioned that Reed is trying to throw out her guilty plea in court. How is that going?
— Archie, Medford
As of this week, it was “case dismissed” for the lawsuit Aisling Tucker Moore Reed filed against a lawyer who represented her in the homicide case.
Reed, who has written multiple books under the pen name Tucker Reed and acted in the locally produced horror film “From the Dark” under the stage name Wyn Reed, filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging that her May 27, 2020, guilty plea to a manslaughter charge was not made voluntarily, according to Jackson County Circuit Court records.
Reed avoided a murder trial in May of last year by pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter for the 2016 shooting of her maternal uncle, Shane Moore, at her grandmother’s Ruch-area home.
In January, Reed filed a $1.5 million malpractice lawsuit against defense lawyer Zachary Light, who was appointed to her case in September 2018.
She alleges that Light failed to adequately represent her during a Jan. 4, 2019, evidence hearing in which a judge denied bail on a murder charge.
“These conditions were sufficiently unendurable to cause (Reed) to attempt suicide on multiple occasions, and ultimately to accept a false plea deal rather than face an unknowable number of additional months in that inhumane facility in the middle of a pandemic,” Reed wrote in a lawsuit filed Jan. 4 of this year.
The lawsuit was first reported near the conclusion of Dateline NBC’s “Killer Role” TV special and podcast series about Reed’s homicide case.
Light was appointed to the case just after prosecutors learned of a secret iPhone video recording of the homicide. In the lawsuit, Reed stated that she voluntarily offered the recording to her previous defense lawyer, Anthony Griffin of Roseburg.
The recording prompted the DA’s office to rearrest Reed on a murder charge, and Griffin withdrew from the case shortly thereafter citing an ethics issue.
Reed accused Light of making “repeated errors" during the Jan. 4, 2019, evidence hearing, such as offering no introductory or concluding arguments, and taking a ”hostile stance“ while questioning Reed’s mother, who argued self-defense.
Light’s lawyers argued for the lawsuit to be dismissed in March based on legal precedent that requires a conviction to be overturned before a legal malpractice civil lawsuit can move forward.
On Monday, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Charles Kochlachs heard arguments in his chambers around the civil lawsuit before dismissing the case.
Reed is in the minimum security Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, with an earliest release date of Nov. 25, 2024, Oregon Department of Corrections records showed Thursday.
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