Prosecutor says he deserves to be caged
Tyler sentenced to 110 years

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 Tyler’s family: his mother, aunts, uncle and a cousin.

Judge Taul heard Tyler’s attorney’s 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 didn’t 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 he’s been imprisoned at the Ripley County Jail awaiting trial. He commented, “I agree with defense that Tyler can’t 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 can’t be rehabilitated,” he told the court, adding that the only alternative is that he (Tyler) belongs in a cage, “He’s 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 amount.”

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 defendant’s 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 doesn’t want to fail others by not prosecuting the defendant to the fullest. “He’s where he needs to be,” he concluded, saying he felt good about the judge’s decision.




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