Tuggle appears in court

Man suspected of stabbing daughter says little during first hearing


A man suspected of stabbing his 12-year-old daughter and leaving her for dead in the Idaho wilderness had his first court appearance Wednesday.

John Rollins Tuggle, 37, a registered sex offender who had been living in Hayden, was quiet during his appearance in Shoshone County Court, Sho--shone County Sheriff Chuck Reynalds said. Tuggle only answered a few questions about his identity and whether he understood the charges being filed against him.

"I thought his eyes were downcast. I couldn't tell if he was sullen or indifferent," Reynalds said.

Reynalds said the courtroom was packed with media members and video cameras filming the hearing.

Tuggle, who is facing a second-degree attempted murder charge, appeared without representation. A public defender, Erik Smith, was appointed to represent him in future appearances, Reynalds said.

Tuggle allegedly stabbed his daughter five times in the neck, chest and groin with a pocketknife and left her for dead July 20 in the Idaho wilderness about 35 miles north of Coeur d'Alene.

Tuggle might face additional sexual assault charges in the case if the Sheriff's Office receives positive evidence that the girl was raped.

Reynalds expects results from a forensics lab Friday or Monday.

"Right now, we're actively involved in getting this case ready for the prosecution," he said.

Reynalds said Tuggle refused to speak with investigators when they questioned him, saying he wouldn't speak to anyone without legal representation.

Tuggle will remain in solitary confinement in the Shoshone County Public Safety Building on a $10 million bond, Reynalds said.

Tuggle next will appear in court for a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Idaho State Trooper Von Daniel, who arrested Tuggle on Wednesday, said Tuggle also was very quiet and withdrawn when he was arrested.

Daniel said Tuggle responded to his verbal commands and did not try to put up any type of fight.

"I expected he'd give me a problem, but he didn't," he said.

Daniel said Tuggle may have covered more than 100 miles of Idaho wilderness during the week but said he probably had to walk only 10 or 15 miles to get back to Wallace, where he was arrested.

"In my opinion, he looked like he was ready to give up," Daniel said.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


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