Girl, 11, who saved baby sister from gunman honored as hero
By Sharon Kiley Mack
Friday, August 03, 2007 - Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA ó Whether it was for saving an infant from a man with an assault rifle, finding a bloodied child in the road and quickly bringing him to a hospital, or uncovering buried evidence that cracked open a two-year-old homicide case, residents honored Thursday by the Maine State Police definitely deserved to be called heroes.
Three residents were recognized for their outstanding actions along with a bevy of state troopers and police officers.
The most emotional moment of the day came when Adrienne Tucker, 11, accepted her award for saving her baby sisterís life last November when her motherís boyfriend allegedly attacked her mother and shot her teenage brother to death.
The dozens of police officers in attendance at Thursdayís ceremony gave the girl a standing ovation when she accepted the Maine State Police Award for Bravery.
Wearing a bright pink skirt and tiny braids in her hair, Tucker said after the ceremony that she didnít feel like a hero.
"It was scary," she said, recalling how she was awakened early Nov. 28 to her mother screaming, "Toddís going crazy. We have to get out of here."
According to police reports, Todd Curry, her motherís boyfriend, attacked Tuckerís mother, April Cooley, first with a fireplace poker and later with the butt of an AK-47 assault rifle. Tucker, who was 10 at the time, awakened her brother, Anthony Tucker, 13, then ran to her infant sisterís crib and scooped her up.
"She ran with a 20-pound baby for a quarter of a mile," Cooley said Thursday.
As Adrienne Tucker carried the baby from the Palmyra home she reportedly heard gunfire and turned to witness Curry shoot her brother in the head and kill him.
In mid-July, Curry, who is awaiting trial for murder, changed his plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect...."
Suspect suffers mental illness
Monday, December 11, 2006
PORTLAND (AP) - The man charged with fatally shooting the 13-year-old son of his live-in girlfriend had experienced bouts of mental illness, leading to repeated hospital stays and a growing sense of delusion and paranoia.
Todd Curry, 39, had an almost idyllic childhood, sailing and surfing on Scarborough's Pine Point. He had a large circle of friends and went to Cheverus High School, a private school in Portland.
But friends and family say his life took an abrupt turn a week after his high school graduation in 1986, the Maine Sunday Telegram reported. That's when Curry drove his Porsche through a stop sign in Saco and slammed into crossing traffic, leaving him in a coma for a week and with a brain injury from which he never really recovered.
Curry is now charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Anthony Tucker on Nov. 28. Police say Curry shot Tucker multiple times outside the home in Palmyra where they lived with Tucker's mother, April Cooley, and Cooley's two other children, one of whom was fathered by Curry.
Anthony say Anthony was killed as he tried to lead his mother and sister to safety from an abusive situation. But those who know Curry say there is nothing straightforward about his life and the events that led to the tragedy.
"He's not the type of person who would intentionally hurt anyone," said Curry's sister, Cynthia Anastasoff. "Everyone who knows him and knows this family is aware of that."
Prosecutors have called for a psychological examination, saying in court documents that there is a question of whether Curry knew what he was doing or if he could understand that it was wrong. His attorney, Janet Mills, said Curry's mental state at the time of the crime is an issue.
Advocates for victims of domestic violence, however, say nothing should distract from Anthony Tucker's death.
"I'm sorry that (Curry) had brain trauma, but the issue is what happened subsequently," said Lois Reckitt, executive director of Portland's Family Crisis Services.
Curry, the son of a prominent Scarborough real estate broker and golfer, was a fun-loving and athletic boy. After the car accident, he wasn't the same, classmates said.
He needed two surgeries to remove glass fragments from his skull, and it took months of rehabilitation for him to learn to walk and talk again.
"He was a lively, friendly kid in high school," said Frank Amoroso, a classmate. "I saw him again after high school, maybe 10 years later. From his speech and his mannerisms, you could tell that he'd had a serious injury."
Curry recovered enough to attend Maine Maritime Academy, where he graduated in 1991 with a degree in power engineering operations. He worked as a merchant mariner and developed a comedy act he performed in comedy clubs when he was home between voyages.
But his sister said that Curry's life was complicated. He began a series of hospitalizations and spent less and less time at sea.
"It was because of his mental state," Anastasoff said. "He's had a lot of conflict in his life. Lately it's taken over his life."
About five years ago, Curry moved to a home he inherited from his grandparents in the Somerset County town of Palmyra. His behavior appeared to get more bizarre.
A former girlfriend sought a protection order against him in 2004, saying he was exhibiting increasingly paranoid behavior.
Curry also became embroiled in a boundary dispute with his neighbors in Palmyra. In court papers they charged that he drove slowly down a road near their house and fired a gun near their property at night.
Mike Burnham, a childhood friend, said Curry was losing touch with reality and "thought and saw things that weren't there." The boundary dispute was one example, Burnham said.
"He thought the other property owners were trying to take over his land," Burnham said. "He thought people were growing marijuana on his land, and he was driving around at night looking for them."