Tuggle handed two life terms | SteamboatToday.com

Tuggle handed two life terms

A Hayden man who raped and kidnapped his 12-year-old daughter and left her for dead in the Idaho wilderness will spend the rest of his life in prison, a judge ruled Monday.

Just two weeks before his 38th birthday, John Roll–ins Tuggle was handed two life sentences without the chance of parole by Shoshone County, Idaho, First District Judge Fred Gibler, who found Tuggle guilty of rape, first-degree kidnapping and use of a deadly weapon, according to court documents.

In September, Tuggle accepted a plea offer from prosecuting attorney Michael Peacock, so his case did not go to trial.

In exchange for Tuggle’s guilty pleas for rape and kidnapping, Peacock agreed to drop attempted murder and lewd and lascivious conduct charges and to not pursue the death penalty.

Tuggle was accused of taking his daughter in July to a remote area north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he raped her, tied her to a tree and stabbed her with a knife in the neck, abdomen and groin, police said.

Campers found the girl and took her to the hospital. She was released several weeks later.

Tuggle was arrested July 27 after a weeklong manhunt during which law enforcement officers scoured the Idaho wilderness.

Shoshone County court officials said Tuggle declined comment during his sentencing Monday.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reported Tuesday that the girl, her brother and her mother made statements during the sentencing.

“You have caused me great harm, both inside and out,” the victim said. “You left me to die.”

The girl’s mother said:

“You are more monster than human. I trusted you as her father, and you drove away leaving her to die.

“I gave my children the opportunity to have their own opinion of you. We will live as though you never existed.”

In the months before the attack, Tuggle lived in Hayden with his brother after being released from the Idaho State Prison, where he served a nine-year sentence for raping his then-12-year-old sister -in-law in 1994.

Tuggle contacted his children upon his release from prison. Their mother said she told Tuggle he could visit their children in July 2005 under strict visitation.

It was during that July visit that Tuggle abducted and attacked his daughter.

“It’s difficult to find words to express the acts that Mr. Tuggle committed against the victim, and it’s hard to imagine the impact on her life,” Gibler said.

“The victim is a survivor, contrary to what seemed to be the wishes of Mr. Tuggle.”

Tuggle’s brother, Chris Tuggle, did not immediately return phone calls Tuesday.

–To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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