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Steven Baker LUCAS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - To preserve his inheritance
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: June 5, 1988
Date of birth: 1945
Victim profile: Bette Lucas, 66 (his millionaire mother)
Method of murder: Beating with a brass candlestick
Location: Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to 35 years in prison on November 22, 1994

Guilty in Mother's Death

The New York Times

Thursday, November 24, 1994

A man who said his wealthy socialite mother fell over a bannister as they grappled over a videocassette recorder has been convicted of beating her to death to preserve his inheritance.

Jurors deliberated more than 22 hours before reaching the verdict on Tuesday against the defendant, Baker Steven Lucas 3d. Mr. Lucas's first trial in 1991 ended with the jury deadlocked.

Mr. Lucas, 49, was convicted in the beating death of his 66-year-old mother, Bette Baker Lucas, at her home in Tyler on June 6, 1988. He faces a sentence that could range from probation to life in prison.


Texas v. Lucas (11/94)

Steven Baker Lucas was retried for the June 5, 1988 murder of his millionaire mother. The state claimed Lucas bludgeoned 66-year-old Bette Lucas to death -- possibly with a brass candlestick -- for money.

The state introduced evidence showing Lucas, 49, was having financial troubles at the time of his mother's death. He owed more than $500,000 to creditors and his oil company was going out of business.

At the same time, Bette Lucas was refusing to lend her son anymore money and she controlled his father's estate.

The defense argued that Bette Lucas accidentally fell over a second-story banister and down a flight of steps in her home after she and her son struggled over a 30-pound plus videocassette recorder.

The defense conceded that Lucas needed money but that his financial situation was not as serious as the state claimed.

The first trial in 1991 ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked 8-4 to find him guilty of murder.


On November 22, 1994, a jury found Lucas guilty of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison and assessed the maximum fine of $10,000.



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