Tuggle sentencing postponed to 2006


The sentencing of former Hayden resident John Rollins Tuggle, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping his 12-year-old daughter, was postponed two months after his Idaho defense attorney told the judge he didn't have time to prepare.

Tuggle, 37, was arrested in July in Shoshone County, Idaho, on suspicion of raping and stabbing the girl and leaving her for dead in the Idaho wilderness north of Wallace.

Tuggle had not seen his daughter for 10 years because he had been in an Idaho prison for raping and impregnating his sister-in-law, who was 13 when that crime was committed.

Tuggle's attorney, Erik Smith, filed a motion Nov. 3 to postpone Tuggle's sentencing hearing. Smith said he had just received the pre-sentence report a few days before and was not prepared to address some of the questions it raised, according to Shoshone County Court documents.

Prosecutor Michael Peacock objected.

"The young victim is on pins and needles until this thing is over," Peacock said during the hearing.

Judge Fred Gibler granted the motion, however.

Tuggle was charged with rape, kidnapping with a deadly weapon, attempted murder and lewd and lascivious conduct.

In September, however, Tugg--le agreed to plead guilty to rape and kidnapping. In exchange, prosecutors dropped the additional charges and agreed not to pursue the death penalty, which Idaho law allows in cases of aggravated kidnapping.

Tuggle, who still could be sentenced to life in prison, also faces 15 years in prison for using a deadly weapon during the assault.

During the Nov. 3 hearing, Gibler also granted Smith's motion to suppress a psycho--sexual evaluation of Tuggle conducted Oct. 4.

Smith argued the evaluation infringed on Tuggle's Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating himself.

The Idaho Court of Appeals recently decided that such evaluations would be forcing a defendant to divulge information.

The evaluation will not be considered in Tuggle's sentencing and will remain sealed in the court's file.

Tuggle is scheduled to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 9, 2006.

John Rollins Tuggle is no longer the father of the 12-year-old girl he pleaded guilty to raping and kidnapping in July, according to the Shoshone News Press.

Not legally anyway. Tuggle's parental rights were terminated during a brief, unscheduled hearing in the Kootenai County Hall of Justice on Sept. 8. The court records of that hearing have been sealed.

The hearing was held in Kootenai County because the victim was living in Athol, Idaho, which is in Kootenai County, with her mother when she was taken from her home July 20.


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