Tex’ was identified by FBI agent’s confidential informant

A city police detective caught a “big break” while investigating the murder of off-duty Mercer County corrections officer Carl Batie.

Trenton Police detective Scott Peterson testified under cross examination Thursday that, until he got a phone call from someone from the FBI, he didn’t know the government name of a man who was later charged in Batie’s slaying at the Baldassari Regency banquet hall in November 2012.

Peterson said he obtained a photo of a man who was at the banquet hall in the early-morning hours of Nov. 11, 2012.

Hykeem Tucker

Hykeem Tucker

After showing the photo to Marquis Skillman during an interview in January 2013, the detective learned the man’s street name was “Tex.”

Skillman also told the detective he drove to the banquet hall with “Tex” and his brother, Maurice, in his girlfriend’s blue Chevrolet Impala.

Maurice Skillman was later charged with Batie’s murder. Prosecutors believe he fired the fatal shot that struck Batie in the head while he stood on the packed balcony.

Armed with the street name, Peterson  went to a violent crime meeting of local law enforcement. There, he passed out photocopies of the picture of Tex.

He said sometime after that he received a phone call from James McCaffery, the FBI special agent who is best known for finding $2,500 in marked bills in wallet of Ralphiel Mack during a corruption investigation that also netted his brother, former Trenton Mayor Tony Mack.

McCaffery told the Trenton detective a confidential informant identified “Tex” as Hykeem Tucker.

Tucker apparently earned the nickname because he is originally from Texas.

Christopher Campbell, Tucker’s attorney, asked Peterson why he didn’t include information in his police report about how he got his client’s name.

Peterson said it wasn’t relevant.

Peterson acknowledged he didn’t doubt the special agent’s word or ask him questions about his confidential informant.

“Confidential,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to know his name.”

Campbell said it was possible the confidential informant was at the banquet hall the night of the murder and had additional information.

Peterson shrugged off the suggestion.

“I have a lot of faith in James McCaffery,” he said. “If his informant had told him anything more about Hykeem Tucker, [McCaffery] would have told me.”

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