Tuck now claims he was coerced into confessing
Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 9:40 pm
By: AP, staff reports
From AP, staff reports
An overweight man who pleaded guilty in three sexual assaults in Weakley County says he was coerced into confessing by authorities who had him on a lettuce-only diet.
The Commercial Appeal reports Bruce Tuck of Gleason, who weighs 275 pounds, said in a petition challenging his pleas and his 60-year sentence that a detective in Martin offered him chips and a cold drink in exchange for him to talk about the crimes.
“Detective Marty Plunk offered the defendant a bag of chips and a cold drink in exchange for talking to him about the cases,” Tuck wrote in the petition.
The Commercial Appeal also reports Tuck has said his lawyer did a poor job and that Tuck has questioned his own mental state at the time he confessed. He also said he was never read his Miranda rights and that his parents never gave consent to search their home.
Tuck pleaded guilty Dec. 10, 2009, in Weakley County Circuit Court in Dresden to multiple felony charges — including six counts of aggravated rape, aggravated burglary and five counts of aggravated kidnapping — in connection with a series of home invasion sexual assaults last summer in Martin.
He was arrested Sept. 2, 2009, at his parents’ home in Gleason after DNA evidence linked him to a sexual assault on Raven Street in Martin on Aug. 30. He was accused of holding three people at gunpoint and raping a University of Tennessee at Martin student.
Other home invasion sexual assaults had also been reported in Martin and Shelby County throughout the summer months. Those cases prompted a massive search by Martin, Weakley County and Shelby County law enforcement agencies, as well as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, for a suspect described as having a pot belly and wearing a mask.
During the execution of a search warrant at a rental storage unit that reportedly had ties to Tuck, investigators allegedly found a mask similar to the one used during the attacks.
In a statement to the court in December, Tuck said not a day goes by that he doesn’t regret what he did. Tuck said he has been studying the Bible and asked for forgiveness and he hopes his victims will forgive him.
Tuck was also indicted in February by a Shelby County grand jury on multiple charges of rape, burglary and robbery for incidents that allegedly occurred last summer in Memphis and Shelby County. Tuck is scheduled to be in Shelby County Criminal Court later this month.
Published in The Messenger 6.21.10