A 17-year-old suburban teen was sentenced Monday to 90 years in prison in the brutal attack of a Hispanic boy who was beaten, kicked, stomped, burned and sodomized with the plastic pole of a patio umbrella.
Keith Turner was the second teen convicted of aggravated sexual assault in the April attack at a house in Spring, north of Houston. David Henry Tuck, 18, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 16.
Turner was convicted late Friday after about 90 minutes of deliberations. The jury took about five hours over two days to reach the sentence of 90 years.
Turner will have to serve at least 30 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Although Turner was the younger of the assailants and didn’t have the history of racial attacks that colored Tuck’s past, it was his idea to use the patio umbrella pole in the attack.
Turner, Tuck, the victim and two other teens were partying at a house in Spring, drinking and taking cocaine and Xanax. Twelve-year-old Danielle Sons, who was at the party at her house, told the other boys that the victim had tried to kiss her, prompting the attack.
Tuck shouted racial slurs and “white power” as he and Turner kicked the then 17-year-old, cut him with a knife, sodomized him with a plastic pipe and poured bleach on him in an assault that lasted up to five hours. The victim was left bleeding in the backyard until dawn, when Sons and her brother, Gus, finally woke their mother, who slept through it.
During Turner’s trial, jurors saw a videotaped statement by Turner in which he admitted to being the first one to grab the umbrella pole and joking about using it to sodomize the victim.
'Evil' teen jailed for savage party beating
POSTED: 8:08 a.m. EST, November 18, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- A teenager described as a white supremacist was sentenced Friday to life in prison for savagely beating and sodomizing a Hispanic boy at a drug-fueled party.
David Henry Tuck, 18, was convicted Thursday of aggravated sexual assault in the near-fatal attack. Witnesses testified that he hurled racial insults and shouted "white power" while sodomizing the 17-year-old victim with the plastic pole of a patio umbrella.
Prosecutor Mike Trent told the jury that Tuck's history of violence showed he is beyond rehabilitation and would commit more attacks if released.
"He is an evil person, and he is not going to change or get better," Trent said. "We need protection from him. You are the only ones that provide that."
"Even if you give him life in prison, it will be more mercy than he showed to [the victim] that night," Trent said.
After the jury imposed the sentence, Tuck's mother, Sharon, hugged the victim's mother in the courtroom.
"I am so sorry," Sharon Tuck said as they both cried. She also hugged the victim, whom The Associated Press has not identified because he a juvenile sexual assault victim.
The assault took place at a party in the Houston suburbs where several youths had gathered to drink alcohol and take drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax.
According to testimony, the attack was triggered by the victim's drunken pass at a 12-year-old girl and his attempt to steal drugs.
Doctors did not initially expect the boy to live. He was hospitalized for more than three months and underwent 20 to 30 operations. He testified Wednesday that he remembered nothing of the assault.
Defense attorney Chuck Hinton appealed to the jury's religious faith, saying that Jesus would show Tuck mercy.
"I know that justice has to be done. I know a terrible thing happened. Justice needs to be done, but with mercy," Hinton said.
He also said Tuck had an abusive, absent father and was raised by a single working mother. His only role model, Hinton said, was his older brother, a skinhead who is in jail.
Prosecutors presented a chain of witnesses Friday to describe more than a half-dozen other attacks in which Tuck assaulted people, including a Hispanic man who was punched and kicked at a convenience store by three skinheads.
Linda Cabbell, a special education teacher who taught Tuck in elementary school, said he was violent when he was as young as 9 or 10, recalling how he punched her in the eye and kicked her in the groin. Tuck was later expelled.
Tuck will be eligible for parole in 30 years. The other teen charged in the beating, Keith Robert Turner, 17, is set to go to trial next month.
The victim's father said Tuck should never be released from prison.
"He deserved what he got. This will be with us for the rest of our lives. There's no healing," said the father. The AP has not identified the parents because doing so could identify the victim.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
White Supremacists Attack Hispanic Teen in Texas
Posted: May 2, 2006
Two teenagers, including an apparent racist skinhead, have been arrested in Spring, Texas, for brutally beating and sexually assaulting a 17-year old Hispanic boy who tried to kiss a 12-year-old girl at a party, according to authorities.
David Henry Tuck, 18, and Keith Robert Turner, 17, are both charged with aggravated sexual assault in the attack that left the victim in critical condition with massive internal injuries.
According to investigators, the suspects dragged the victim from a house party on April 22, 2006, and then stomped on his head with steel-toed boots, sodomized him with a patio-umbrella pipe, tried to carve something in his chest and doused his body in bleach.
The suspects allegedly kicked the pipe into the victim so deeply that it damaged many vital organs. Investigators also discovered burns on his back. The victim, who was not discovered until 10 hours after the attack, is in critical condition.
Tuck and Turner allegedly shouted racial epithets during the attack, but prosecutors are not currently pursuing the incident as a hate crime because it would have no effect on sentencing.
“I don’t know that the very beginning of the attack was racial, but there’s no question that they were venting quite a bit of hatred in their hearts,” said prosecutor Mike Trent.
Tuck, who reportedly has multiple swastika tattoos, would regularly host gatherings at his home that included ceremonies with chants of “sieg heil.” Tuck and this group reportedly intimidated minorities in the neighborhood; in one incident, they shouted racial slurs at a 4-year old African-American girl. Neighbors said that Tuck once paraded around the neighborhood with a swastika flag on Martin Luther King Day.
Both suspects are being held without bond in Harris County Jail. If the victim dies, the suspects will be eligible to receive the death penalty.