"Big-Bellied Rapist" says confession was coerced

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A serial rapist who pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape, kidnapping and robbery charges is trying to overturn his conviction by accusing interrogators of using junk food to coerce a confession.

Bruce Tuck, also known as the "Big-Bellied Rapist," filed a 10-page petition on his own behalf.  Among other things, the 275 pound man said jailers fed him only lettuce.  When they offered him chips and soda, he was quick to confess to 19 felony charges that led to a 60 year sentence.

Tuck, who is locked up in the Weakley County Jail, said his guilty plea was involuntary on six grounds.  Tuck said the year prior to the conviction, he was institutionalized with bipolar and suicidal tendencies and was not taking his medication at the time of his arrest.

Tuck claimed "insanity may render him incapable" of making a rational defense and said investigators never read him his "Miranda right."

Tuck added he is currently showing "extreme paranoia towards law enforcement and counsel ... talking out of his head, acting in a bizarre and violent manner."

Tuck also said his confession was coerced.  He claimed he was "placed on a diet of lettuce only upon incarceration," and that "Detective Marty Plunk offered him a bag of chips and a cold drink" in exchange for talking about the case.

Tuck called the search and seizure of his bedroom unconstitutional.  He claimed investigators ignored his mother's "request for them to stop searching" and then used that evidence to obtain search warrants.

Tuck said the judge failed to tell him about his privilege against self-incrimination and accused the prosecution of hiding evidence that would have helped Tuck.

He said investigators developed another potential suspect who "lived near the victims."  In one case, the suspect was reported to have "reddish-brown hair and wore a type of mask not owned by the defendant."

Finally, Tuck claimed his attorney did not "properly advise" him, including telling Tuck not to recant his confession or he would get double the sentence.

Tuck's public defender said this kind of plea is common after a conviction.  He said he did not know what Tuck ate in jail.

Tuck's filing includes a request for an attorney.  He still faces several Shelby County assault charges from 2009.

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