|Tuck pleads guilty to more rape charges |
|Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:05 pm |
By SABRINA BATES
Special to The Messenger
It was nearly two years ago when Bruce Tuck pleaded guilty to three rapes in Weakley County.
On Friday, the man who was already serving a 60-year prison sentence for those rapes pleaded guilty to similar charges he faced in Shelby County.
It was in 2009 when a series of sexual attacks had law enforcement officials searching West Tennessee for a suspect described as having a “big belly.” Women in Martin as well as Shelby County had become the target of kidnapping and rape at gunpoint.
DNA evidence discovered by the City of Martin’s Public Works Department and Martin Police Depart-ment linked Tuck to three assaults in Martin, while Shelby County investigators were still searching for clues to seven assaults.
After Tuck’s guilty plea in Weakley County, 27th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Bill Acree sentenced him to 60 years in prison without the possibility of parole. In response, Tuck filed a motion to dismiss his guilty plea, claiming he was allegedly coerced into confessing by members of the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department. Acree denied the motion.
While Tuck was serving his 60-year prison sentence, a Shelby County grand jury indicted him on 21 counts of rape, burglary, kidnapping and robbery. Evidence found in his storage facility in Carroll County linked Tuck to the crimes in Shelby County.
Earlier this year, Tuck filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the storage facility, claiming the items were obtained during “illegal” searches.
According to the motion, “the search and detention are invalid under the standards of the Federal and State Constitutions because they were performed without a warrant, without probable cause and no other legal reason justified the detention and warrant-less search.”
One of the cases in Shelby County was set to go to trial in January.
Friday morning, Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft ruled Tuck’s confession and evidence collected in Weakley County were admissible in his trial.
According to Memphis-based media outlets, later that day, Tuck pleaded guilty to the Shelby County indictments.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole to be added to his 60-year prison sentence for his confessed rapes in Martin.
According to Memphis newspaper reports, Tuck requested the judge send him to a state prison that offers treatment for sex offenders and the request was granted.
Tuck has served two years of his 60-year prison sentence.
Editor’s note: Sabrina Bates is news editor of The Weakley County Press in Martin.
Published in The Messenger 12.20.11