Tuck pleads guilty to sex crimes
Sabrina Bates, News Editor
Posted: Friday, December 11, 2009 3:19 pm
The man responsible for raping three women in Martin will spend the next 60 years of his life in prison after he pleaded guilty to the crimes today in Weakley County Circuit Court.
Within six months of the first reported sex assault in Martin, the accused, 35-year-old Gleason native Bruce Tuck, was arrested, indicted by the grand jury and will soon be transferred to the Tennessee Department of Corrections to serve 100 percent of his 60-year prison sentence.
Tuck led law enforcement agencies on a manhunt in search of a masked suspect with a large “pot” belly after a series of sexual assaults were reported in Martin. On July 24, a woman was held at gunpoint and raped by her masked attacker at an apartment on Bo Drive in Martin.
On Aug. 5, another woman at an apartment on Harrison Road in Martin was also sexually assaulted by a man wearing a mask and brandishing a handgun.
The third attack reported in Martin was on Aug. 30 on Raven Street in Martin. Local law enforcement claimed a masked man entered the home and held three people at gunpoint. The suspect then raped one of the victims.
This was the incident that led officers to Tuck through DNA evidence recovered at the scene on Raven Street.
A search warrant of Tuck’s belongings at his parents’ home in Gleason also revealed evidence, linking Tuck to the Raven Street attack. He was arrested Sept. 2 at his parents’ home in Gleason. Twelve felony charges were levied at Tuck from the incident.
Tuck was indicted by a Weakley County Grand Jury in late October for the three home invasion sex assaults in Martin. As a result of the indictment, Tuck faced 22 counts including:
• Six counts of Class A felony aggravated rape for having unlawful sexual penetration while armed with a weapon with three victims on July 24, Aug. 5 and Aug. 30;
• Five counts of Class A felony especially aggravated kidnapping for knowingly removing and confining five victims while brandishing a deadly weapon;
• Four counts of Class C felony aggravated burglary for entering a habitation without the effective consent of the property owners. Tuck is accused of breaking into an apartment on Bo Drive twice – once on July 23 and a second time July 24, when the resident was allegedly raped.
• Three counts of Class B felony aggravated robbery for taking personal items from three victims including a necklace, rings and a credit card while armed with a deadly weapon;
• Two counts of Class E felony theft for taking personal property, including a television and a bicycle;
• One count of Class B felony aggravated sexual battery and
• One count of Class A misdemeanor vandalism for causing damage to a window and door at one of the victim’s residences.
Of the 22 felony counts, Tuck pleaded guilty to 19 of the counts today in front of 27th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge William Acree.
“It is extremely likely that you will never walk out of prison again,” Acree told Tuck during his court appearance.
In a rehash of the three sexual assaults in Martin, District Attorney General Tommy Thomas told the court Tuck used a mask, a 40 Caliber semiautomatic handgun and latex gloves during the execution of the sex crimes. Thomas also said the facts of the case presented to him cited Tuck used a condom and raped the three victims vaginally and anally. Thomas also revealed Tuck, in a statement to the Martin Police Department and Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, had confessed to the crimes.
During his plea hearing, Thomas recommended a 20-year sentence for each of the Class A felony aggravated rape charges. Tuck pleaded to six counts of aggravated rape and five counts of aggravated kidnapping.
He was given a consecutive 20-year prison sentence for three of the aggravated rape charges. As a multiple rapist, Tuck will never be eligible for parole.
“I would like to ask the judge to consider my 13 years in law enforcement and would ask that my sentences run concurrent instead of consecutively,” Tuck asked of Acree.
Acree responded by saying because of Tuck’s guilty plea, a judge cannot modify a sentence.
“I can only accept or reject your plea agreement,” Acree added.
In a statement shared with the court today, Tuck said that not a day goes by that he doesn’t regret what he has done.
Since his incarceration, Tuck said he had been studying his Bible and asked forgiveness and hoped the victims would forgive him.
“I also hope the media would respect the privacy of my family. I do not wish to issue a statement to the media at this time as it would not be appropriate,” Tuck added.
“This has been a terrible ordeal for the victims and their families, and I am pleased that it is now over. I hope that they can achieve closure and find peace,” Thomas told the media after the hearing.
“There are no winners here today. We have the victims who have been violated and I am saddened that we had to incarcerate this young man, most likely for the rest of his life. But it is necessary to confine Mr. Tuck, not only to justly punish him, but to protect society from him and to send a strong message to anyone contemplating such heinous acts,” Thomas added.
He also commended the efforts of the Martin Police Department, TBI, Weakley County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies working with the case.
According to Thomas, there is a hold for Tuck in Shelby County as a suspect for two similar home invasion sex assaults. Tuck will be transferred to Shelby County before he begins serving his prison sentence at the TDOC.
MPD Chief David Moore also issued a statement after the hearing.
“The Martin Police Department is very satisfied that justice was delivered swiftly and appropriately in the three Aggravated Rape and Kidnapping cases perpetrated in the City of Martin by Bruce Tuck spanning the months from July to September of 2009,” Moore stated.
“Our department has remained in close contact with the victims of these crimes and their families, the District Attorney’s Office and partnering law enforcement agencies during the weeks following the arrest of Tuck and we are satisfied that everyone has been well informed and agreeable to the plea delivered to Tuck.
“The fact is that Tuck is 36 years old and will be 96 before he is eligible for parole. This is truly a life sentence for this predator. It is noteworthy as well that this sentence is for the three Martin cases and no adjudication has begun in the related cases in Shelby County as of yet.
“Prior to his apprehension, Bruce Tuck’s crimes continued to escalate in frequency, violence and boldness.
“The criminal justice system worked seamlessly in this case to get a predator off the streets and place him in confinement where he will never again have the opportunity to damage lives or prey on innocent victims,” Moore added.