Sunday, October 26, 2014

Post Register: $25k Approved to Investigate Wrongful Conviction in 18-Year-Old SE Idaho Murder

Posted By on Sun, Oct 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM

It has been 16 years since Christopher Tapp was found guilty of the 1996 murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. Since the beginning of the trial, Tapp has maintained he's innocent—and many, including the victim's mother, Carol Dodge, have come to believe him.

Now, according to the Idaho Falls State Journal, officials in Southeast Idaho have approved $25,000 for an independent investigation into the case, with an eye toward addressing what Judges for Justice, a national nonprofit that reviews reports of false convictions, called flaws in the Idaho Falls Police Department's investigation in the case.

“I think that it’s a great idea, and it benefits Chris,” said Carol Dodge. “He’s been in prison for [18] years. And there is absolutely no scientific, physical evidence putting him there at the crime scene. The only thing that puts Chris there is his confession.”

Tapp's confession has been the biggest point of contention in his case; according to Judges for Justice, Tapp was coerced by police into confessing to the crime after threats of prison or death.

Bonneville County Prosecutor Bruce Pickett will hire the investigator, drawn from a national pool of experts with no knowledge of or participation in the case.

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