Man gets 7 years in kidnap case

Sep 16, 2019 spiqldfx

first_imgA Vancouver man was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for his role in the kidnapping and robbery of a 29-year-old woman who he feared would testify against him in a drug case.In an agreement with prosecutors, Robert J. Tuttle, 33, pleaded guilty Monday to intimidating a witness and entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree robbery. The Alford plea means he did not admit to the robbery but acknowledged a jury could find him guilty of that charge.In exchange, Deputy Prosecutor Michael Vaughn dismissed charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping against Tuttle.Tuttle’s alleged accomplice, Summer E. Long, 36, of Brush Prairie is scheduled to be tried June 2 on similar charges.The victim accepted a ride from Long and Tuttle, both of whom she knew through the local drug subculture, according to prosecutors. Court records don’t reveal where she was going. Once inside Long’s truck, Long and Tuttle allegedly started driving toward Larch Mountain, away from the victim’s intended destination. The victim told investigators that she asked repeatedly to be returned to where they had picked her up, but her requests were ignored, court records show. At one point, Long allegedly forcibly took the victim’s cellphone and threw it into the back of the truck, Vaughn said. That was the basis for the robbery charge.At the top of the mountain, the victim said Long and Tuttle assaulted her and accused her of being a police informant.They threatened to harm her if she testified against Tuttle in a pending drug case, Vaughn said.The victim said she was able to flee and hide in the woods until daylight, when she walked 9.3 miles to a residence, according to court records. She couldn’t call for help because she didn’t have her phone, Vaughn said.“This is quite a frightening crime that’s been described by the prosecution,” Judge David Gregerson said Monday before imposing the sentence.Tuttle’s attorney, Neil Cane, said Monday that Tuttle didn’t know about Long’s intention to rob the victim when they gave her a ride. That was why he entered an Alford plea to the robbery charge, Cane said.Gregerson sentenced Tuttle to the maximum under the state’s standard sentencing guidelines. Cane and Vaughn recommended that sentence as part of Tuttle’s plea negotiations. Tuttle has an extensive criminal history, which increased his potential sentence, Vaughn said.last_img

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