"Big Bellied Rapist" ordered to undergo mental evaluation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

"Big Bellied Rapist" ordered to undergo mental evaluation

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MARTIN, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South man facing over 20 charges of rape was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation Thursday.

Looking much thinner, Bruce Tuck, the accused 'big-bellied rapist' spent five minutes in court.  Tuck answered the judge's questions, and then pleaded not guilty to 22 different charges spread across three different rape cases.

"We'll get the discovery," defense attorney Colin Johnson said. "Bruce and I will review that, and then we'll get plea offers. And we'll make decisions about how to proceed in the future."

On September 15th, Tuck was arrested at his parents house and charged in one rape case.  District Attorney General Tommy Thomas says prosecutors pressed to move quickly on the rest of the charges.

"We brought the grand jury in just for the purpose of hearing these cases in an effort to expedite the process, to move the cases along, primarily for the victims," Thomas said.

The judge ordered Tuck into a mental health facility in Nashville for 30 days to determine his competency to stand trial, and his mental status at the time of the alleged crimes. 

Afterward, he'll return to the Weakley County Jail, where his stay got of to a rocky start.

"He has acted up somewhat in the past," Weakley County Sheriff Mike Wilson said. "I don't know if he's just testing us or what, maybe throwing his food at one time or another."

Recenlty, Wilson said, Tuck's behavior has been much better.

Tuck is scheduled to be back in court on January 7th.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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