Wanda English Burnett - Editor
There was silence in the courtroom
as Circuit Court Judge Carl Taul handed down a 110-year sentence
to Brian L. Tyler on Monday morning, January 29.Although Prosecutor
Ric Hertel requested 123 years, he said he felt that justice
had been served with the 110 year sentence. In December, a jury
found Tyler guilty on five counts of child molesting that involved
five children from two separate families.
Before entering the courtroom, officers used a wand to check
each person to ensure safety inside. At the trial, outbursts
from the defendant led police to believe tightened security
was needed. There were several officers from the state and county
to make sure the sentencing phase of the trial went smoothly.
Seated among those in the courtroom were parents of the victims
and members of Tylers family: his mother, aunts, uncle
and a cousin.
Judge Taul heard Tylers attorneys pleas that his
client had been abused, both sexually and physically, before
he was placed in the child protective system, and that he had
lived in institutions for the most part of his life. He also
heard that Tyler had an IQ of 69 when he was 17-years-old and
could perform school work on a second or third grade level.
Watson cited information from a diagnostic report generated
when Tyler was institutionalized saying he was unable to cope
with life situations due to childhood abuse. Tyler becomes easily
frustrated and subsequently acts out with violence. His IQ places
him in the bottom two percent of American population, bordering
on mental retardation, according to Watson.
Defense Attorney Watson continued by saying Tyler barely saw
his father, and blames his mother for what happened to him as
a child (although he still loves her).
Prosecutor Hertel didnt flinch when he asked the court
to sentence Tyler to 123 years in prison. He stated he believed
that the defendant has proven he is a violent offender, saying
he beat a guard with a chair and sprayed another guard, and
said he has even had an altercation since hes been imprisoned
at the Ripley County Jail awaiting trial. He commented, I
agree with defense that Tyler cant cope with life - on
the outside (of jail) or in the inside.
Hertel continued by saying Tyler graduated from being a violent
offender to a pedophile and has abused people of all ages, adults
right down to a four-year-old child. He cant be
rehabilitated, he told the court, adding that the only
alternative is that he (Tyler) belongs in a cage, Hes
an animal, he stated.
The prosecutor asked that the mental scars of the five victims
be taken into consideration, along with the letters that were
written by their parents. He argued that the community would
be most safe if Tyler was behind bars. Asking the judge to give
the defendant 123 years in prison, Hertel stated, Based
on his past and current charges, he (Tyler) has earned this
Judge Carl Taul noted this was difficult and did take into consideration
all of the factors presented by both sides. He said there were
certainly aggravating circumstances, saying Tyler had been in
trouble since he was a child. He also noted that the defendants
limited intellectual ability and the fact he was institutionalized
for years were considered. The five counts Tyler had been found
guilty on included four counts of child molesting and one count
of vicarious sexual behavior.
Watson said his client wanted to file an appeal, but he would
not be representing him. Counsel was appointed and Watson said
he would give the proper documents to the new attorney.
Sheriff Tom Grills and his Chief Deputy David Pippin escorted
Tyler to a waiting police car and he was transported back to
the Ripley County Jail.
Prosecutor Hertel felt the sentence was appropriate saying while
he knows Tyler was failed as a child by both his parents and
the system, he doesnt want to fail others by not prosecuting
the defendant to the fullest. Hes where he needs
to be, he concluded, saying he felt good about the judges