Today a jury will deliberate the fate of Kenneth Tuck, 34, on trial for allegedly kidnapping state Rep. John Myers' son, Shamari Taylor, 26, and a female friend last summer.
That friend, Caren Murphy, 22, the prosecution's key witness, had a three-month sexual relationship with Tuck when she was 15 and he was 28.
Six years later, on the night of Aug. 26, 2006, Murphy said, she was sitting in a car with Taylor, who she believed was a drug dealer, on Woodbine Avenue near 76th Street, when they were surrounded by several armed men, most of them masked, flashing badges.
Murphy said she knew they weren't cops when she recognized her former lover Tuck, who wasn't masked, as he grabbed Taylor and forced him into a van.
After Murphy and Taylor were blindfolded with duct tape and driven to what she thinks was a warehouse, she heard Taylor screaming and pleading for his life, Murphy testified.
Then the screaming stopped, she said. Murphy was released after her abductors threatened to kill her if she talked. Taylor has been missing since that night.
Yesterday, when Assistant District Attorney Gonen Haklay suggested in his closing argument that Taylor had been tortured to death, Rep. Myers bowed his head and wiped away tears.
Murphy said her family persuaded her to go to police and identify Tuck - the only one arrested in the case.
Testifying in his own defense, Tuck said he was playing cards on the front porch of his mother's house, on Jefferson Street near 62nd - while the kidnapping was happening more than a mile away.
Tuck's mother, his sister and a friend all said they were with Tuck at that card game.
Tuck said he learned of the kidnapping days later when his mother called him in New York, where he was visiting a friend.
She told him that police had come to her house with a warrant and searched his room.
Tuck testified that he boarded a bus to Philadelphia but got off at the Cherry Hill Mall, where a man he cannot identify offered him a ride home for $40.
He said the driver stopped in Camden, where Tuck, emerging from a pizza shop with his dinner, was shot by one or two unidentified males, then run over by an unidentified motorist.
In his closing, prosecutor Haklay said Tuck's card-playing alibi was substantiated only by his mother, his sister and a friend who have a "motive to lie" to save him.
Haklay said that Tuck's version of the Camden shooting is unsubstantiated and not credible.
Haklay said it is more likely that Tuck's fellow kidnappers saw his photo in the Daily News, thought "he's going to get them all locked up if he opens his mouth" and tried to kill him.
Defense attorney Christopher Warren said that Murphy had misidentified Tuck, whom she hadn't seen in the six years before the night she got a brief look at the kidnappers. *