Saturday, September 8, 2012

Attorney says Idaho Falls police withheld evidence in Angie Dodge case

IDAHO FALLS, ID — Christopher Tapp, the man convicted of raping and killing Idaho Falls resident Angie Dodge on June 13, 1996, says police and prosecutors failed to turn over critical evidence to his defense attorney when they were preparing for Tapp’s trial. Tapp’s public defender, John Thomas, made the claim on Tapp’s behalf in a “Brady petition” filed with the Bonneville County court and prosecutor's office on Wednesday, September 5. The petition calls for Tapp to be freed because the Idaho Falls Police Department failed to share significant findings in its investigation of the crimes. Tapp was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The petition declares that at least 10 times in police reports, IFPD Detective Ken Brown mentions Jeffery Lynn Smith, a former Idaho Falls resident and convicted rapist, as a suspect in Dodge's murder, but the information was never shared with Tapp’s attorney. The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that the prosecution violates the defendant's rights to due process when evidence is withheld, the petition notes. John Browning, an Idaho Falls resident in 1996, alleges in an affidavit dated August 30, 2012 and filed with the Brady petition that in 1996, he told IFPD detectives that Smith came to the apartment he shared with his now ex wife that was not far from the crime scene. The “visit” took place at about 3 a.m. on June 13. He said in the affidavit that Smith had blood on his clothes, gashes on his face, and a rug burn on his chin. Browning states that Smith made him feel “uncomfortable,” and when he asked Browning if he could use the bathroom to wash up, Browning said he could use an outdoor hose but could not come inside. Browning also said Smith voluntarily explained the injuries and blood but the affidavit does not include any details about what Smith may have said. Browning’s ex wife, Gentri Nicole Morris Goff, gave a similar account in an affidavit dated August 13, 2012, and said the IFPD never interviewed her to see if her story matched her husband’s. She also declared that in July 2012, Tapp’s legal team showed her a 1988 photo of Smith, and she identified him as the man who had come to the apartment in 1996. In 1997, Christopher Tapp was convicted of raping and killing Dodge. After hours of police interviews during which his legal team — including the Idaho Innocence Project — says he was manipulated and coerced, Tapp confessed to the crimes. No hard evidence, such as DNA or eyewitnesses, has connected him to the crimes. Last month in a Dateline NBC feature on the Innocence Project’s push to get Tapp freed, Carol Dodge, Angie’s mom, said she now believes Tapp is innocent. On Thursday after the Brady motion was filed, Carol Dodge said she hopes Judge Tingey “does the right thing” and frees Tapp. Tingey has 30 days to act on the petition. On Friday, Sept. 7, Idaho Falls Police Chief Steve Roos said one of his detectives is looking for any records IFPD may have of contacts with Smith. He also said a DNA sample was taken of Smith and it did not match DNA at the crime scene. In 1992, Bonneville County charged Smith with murdering Leo and Mary Downard of Ammon, but dropped the charges due to lack of evidence. His brother, Lanny, was later charged with the crime and convicted. In 1998, Bonneville County convicted Smith of a 1993 rape. "The average Joe on the street should be concerned that the police are withholding evidence. When police start going awry there has to be checks and balance and that’s what defense attorneys are for,” said Tapp's attorney, public defender John Thomas, in an interview Channel 8 Eyewitness News aired Thursday, Sept. 6. “If there is one witness out there the state is not turning over there may be others out there.” Also on Channel 8, Bonneville County prosecutor Bruce Pickett said, "The fact that Chris Tapp can make multiple filings with the court or submit new evidence goes to the strength of our court system, not to the weakness of it. If there is, other evidence, the court wants to look at it.”


Anonymous said...

The legal system in Idaho Falls is corrupt. My own daughter had a civil case in process last year, when the attorney representing my daughter's case and the doctor's attorney attempted to use falsified records to intimidate me into dismissing the case. I sought out the assistance of the police, mayor, politicians, governor, the attorney general etc... The city attorney wrote a letter in which he stated it would not be proper to prosecute the doctor, not that he was not guilty, it appears that some felons have immunity from prosecution in Idaho.

I imagine if they committed an illegal act in your case, they will do anything to keep from compromising those affiliated with them, even to the point of lying and withholding information because no one looks at what they are doing in Idaho to undermine the constitutional rights of those outside of the majority there.

My blog is :

I am also a journalist:

Anonymous said...

it is imperative the public know the name of the person whose wallet was found in angie's apt......imperative.....

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Anonymous said...

The pubic hair, not Angie's, but could be!
Maybe it was a family member! Father or brother!
I was sure they would say on tv they tested it and found
It was a family member ,

The Father was seprated from the Mother,
What was the reason, it was not shared!

Angie would let her family member in,

Seems strange to me about the pubic hair!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amy Kilpatrick said...

just for an FYI I googled Jeffery Lynn Smith's name and look what I found....interesting. His DNA should be in the system to be able to compare to the DNA found....hopefully this is the same person.

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray that they do not stop perusing the truth in this case with Angie Dodge, and possibly reopen the Leo and Mary Downard case. Are the people that were convicted truly the ones that actually committed the crime? There is a common denominator in each of these cases that has been so easily swept under the rug. That common denominator is out there to continue to commit crimes and even possibly become another Ted Bundy and lord knows we already have enough out there that have yet been caught. I think its time that outside authority come in and re-investigate both cases and even others that we the public don't know are possibly related. I hope that someone that has the ability to do something will look at these cases with a fresh set of eyes and find the real truth so that these victims and their families can rest in peace, and also free the ones that didn't commit the crime, so that they can live the life they deserve.

Anonymous said...

I can not believe that out of all, who has the authority to fix this, has the kahunas to make things right for these families. The IFPD found an easy target, in order to become hero's, instead of doing real detective work. It is an insult to all of IF's & Just plain criminal & from what I saw on those confession tapes, leads me to believe This wasnt the 1st time they have done this,they have their tactics down to a science. Which causes me to wander, how many other innocent people have been imprisoned for crimes they have not committed, leaving the actual perps on the street to commit more crimes? How many people were robbed, raped or killed, because of this Lazy & selfish type of detective work. Unbelievable! I can't believe Chris Tapp is still imprisoned!
Someone needs to end this absurdity, Set Tapp free & find the match for the DNA!
P.S. MCI, What a Joke! I call it an attempt to CYA! A real man can admit to his mistakes & apologize for them if needed & Learn from them. Convincing yourself of being right, instead of taking an honest look at the facts, not just your perception of them, will only block your growth as a man & will find yourself constantly defending your perceptions of the truth, not the actual truth. I believe all detectives of IF's, need to take a DBT course, to prevent more destroyed lives! Some are making it a requirement for their whole department.

B Man said...

I watched the Dateline Episode and I have arived at a conclusion , who had contact with all 3 involved ? The School Liaison Officer/Lead Dective/Mayor , Maybe the stupid move Angie did was have sex with the THEN Officer , he knew how easy it would be to convince a meth head to take the rap , Just a Gut Feeling I have ... Check his DNA

Anon 1 said...

Stop watching so much TV, B Man. It's fried your brain. Angie had a boyfriend at the time and it wasn't the person you're accusing. He was actually a witness at the trial. Chris is not innocent and your conclusions are false, based on a news-drama television show. - Juror L.

Alexiz Martinez said...

Free Christopher Tapp!! R.I.P. Angie Dodge . Justice for Angie Dodge . IFPD needs to find her real killer.

Anonymous said...

Sound like the murder is a women in a man body sex change everything I listen to on tv tonight points to a women with a man features,

Because Angie Dodge was not actually raped according to forensic team but the person did ejaculated suggesting to me everyone is looking for a man cause past crime suggest man do these things more.

But more you look into this case it coming clear to me this was a women who had sex change and this is why the police have not been able to solve it. DNA should be compared to a women not a man at all.