RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – Two men serving life sentences for multiple murder convictions in North Carolina are going to be released from prison.

German “Jermaine” Grace, serving life for first-degree murder in the shooting death of a pizza delivery driver, and Jeffery Edgar Tucker, who twice was convicted of second-degree murder as a teenager, both have been approved for release from prison by the North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission.

Jeffery Edgar Tucker is being released after two murder convictions. (NC DAC)
German “Jermaine” Grace will be released from a life sentence. (NC DAC)

Their releases are scheduled for Aug. 7 under a program that releases some inmates convicted of crimes that occurred before Oct. 1, 1994, when North Carolina abolished parole in cases involving murder and rape. The commission is charged with considering the parole of offenders who were sentenced under guidelines before that date.

Both Grace and Tucker earned their freedom after fulfilling the terms of the commission’s Mutual Agreement Parole Program, a “scholastic and vocational program” that is a 3-way agreement among the commission, the Division of Prisons and the offender that requires an inmate to display a desire to improve education and training programs and a self-improvement process.

The commission had announced in November that it was considering Tucker’s release under MAPP, a process that can take years for some inmates. Notice was distributed in February that Grace could earn his release.

The commission has considered the release of dozens of inmates from the Piedmont Triad in the past year. Some don’t complete the process or earn approval. Not all are under the MAPP program.

The cases involving both Grace and Tucker are high-profile because of various circumstances, especially the details of the events that led to their convictions.

Three murder convictions

Grace, now 49, was 19 on Aug. 20, 1993, when he was convicted of felony murder for his role in the death of a pizza delivery agent Kevin Hodgin in High Point. Grace shot him three times in the head with a gun he had stolen earlier, the News & Record reported.

Although Grace testified he was playing cards at the time of the killing, four witnesses who were charged with the robbery said it was Grace who pulled the trigger because they were looking for someone to rob. They split the $117 Hodgin was carrying, meaning each got about $20.

Tucker, 51, is serving a second stint for second-degree murder in October 1990 in Randolph County after having been paroled from a 50-year term for a conviction on the same charge from July 1989 in Guilford County Superior Court. He had been convicted of killing a High Point man in December 1988, when Tucker was 17.

Tucker had a long history of convictions on robbery and larceny charges in Davidson County and served his sentence on the second-degree murder charge until Jan. 27, 2012, when he was released.

While incarcerated, Tucker in 1990 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Randolph County, admitting that when he was 15 he shot and killed a woman while he and his sisters were trying to rob a gambling operation in Trinity, the News & Record in Greensboro reported.

MAPP program

With both men having been approved for release in mere months under MAPP, it is important to note that there typically is a 3-year walk-up to release. The MAPP website states that the program requires the inmate:

  • To be in medium or minimum custody.
  • Not to be subject to a detainer or pending court action that could result in further confinement.
  • To be infraction-free for a period of 90 days before being recommended.

Grace, who is being held at the Davidson Correctional Center in Lexington, has been charged with 40 in fractions, although none since 2017. There were a half-dozen charges for sexual acts, attempted bribery, being involved with a gang and numerous lesser offenses.

Tucker, also recently moved to the Davidson CC, has been charged with 29 infractions, although none since 2017.  Most of them were for substance possession and one for possessing a weapon.

The commission is required to review all offenders eligible for parole on an annual basis. If you have questions, you can call 919-716–3010.