A teenager whom prosecutors described as a white supremacist was sentenced Friday to life in prison for a savage attack on a Hispanic boy at a party.
Before jurors began deliberating David Henry Tuck’s fate Friday, prosecutors told them the only appropriate punishment was a life sentence.
Prosecutor Mike Trent said Tuck’s history of increasingly violent crimes shows he is beyond redemption and rehabilitation. He added that if Tuck were free, he would continue to commit more violent crimes.
“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.
Witnesses testified that Tuck and another teen beat, kicked and sodomized the victim with the plastic pole of a patio umbrella. They said the attack was triggered by the victim’s drunken pass at a girl, who was 12 at the time, and his attempt to steal drugs.
Defense attorney Chuck Hinton appealed to the jurors’ 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 told jurors that Tuck didn’t have opportunities to make the best choices because he had an abusive and absent father, was raised by a single working mother, and his only role model was his older brother, a skinhead who is in jail.