Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dateline looks at Angie Dodge's murder case Judge denies new DNA testing to find Angie’s killer By ELIZABETH LADEN IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls mother whose daughter was murdered and raped in 1996 wants the man convicted of the crimes to be freed. Carol Dodge, mother of Angie Dodge, shared her story with the nation on the August 24th NBC-Dateline show, called “The Confession.” The Dateline episode is also available for viewing at www.angiedodge.com. In June 1996, Angie was found murdered and raped in her apartment. Christopher Tapp, who was 20 yrs old at that time, and hung near the Snake River in downtown Idaho Falls with many other young people during that summer; admitted to the Idaho Falls Police Department (IFPD) detectives after several hours of interrogation that he willing took part in the murder. In 1998, a jury convicted Tapp of murder and he has spent the past 15 years in prison. However; Angie’s mother Carol, the Idaho Innocence Project, and state’s appellate court attorneys’, Dennis Benjamin and Sara Thomas, now believe Tapp is an innocent man. The NBC-Dateline episode focused on the possibility that Tapp is innocent, and the main reason is that the IFPD has no DNA evidence that puts Tapp at the scene. The DNA samples of semen and hair found at the crime scene belong to a Caucasian individual that has never been brought to justice. NBC-Dateline, Idaho Innocence Project and many others all question the tactics that IFPD Detective Jared Fuhriman (now Idaho Falls mayor) and Det. Ken Brown (now retired) used during the interrogation that resulted in Tapp’s confession. They assert that Tapp was manipulated into admitting he was in Angie’s apartment when she was killed and that he cut Angie, after another man he cannot identify slit her throat and raped her. IFPD detectives claim that when they questioned Tapp, he knew details about the crime that only a person who was there would have known. However, there are many who question the IFPD’s investigative tactics saying the detectives gave Tapp the information. The Dateline episode showed some of the segments of the interrogation that support their assertion. Indeed, Dodge told NBC-Dateline that she believed Tapp was guilty until she spent many hours watching all of Tapp’s interrogation tapes. Dr. Greg Hampikian, a professor at Boise State University, a DNA expert, and director of the Idaho Innocence Project, has requested the DNA profiles in the Angie Dodge murder case so that new DNA technology can be applied that would possibly lead to the true identity of real killer. On August 14, District Judge Joel E. Tingey denied a petition filed by Tapp, asking for YSTR DNA testing. Judge Tingey ruled that Tapp was convicted of Angie’s murder based on Tapp’s statements, not DNA evidence. Tingey ruled that “The identity of Tapp was not an issue at the time of trial but rather the issue was the extent of his involvement in the murder. Tingey stated that the DNA gathered at the crime scene was only relevant to the identity of a yet unknown assailant. DNA evidence of an unknown individual has no effect on Tapp’s conviction.” He noted that Idaho law allows new DNA testing if the result of the test has “the scientific potential to produce new, noncumulative evidence” that would show the petitioner to be innocent. Dr. Hampikian said the Innocence Project is appealing Tingey’s decision. Still, IFPD could request Touch DNA testing that may lead to the actual killer. Although; IFPD Chief Steve Roos says the Dodge case is actively an open case, he has not authorized further DNA testing. Roos has not responded to an Island Park News requesting that he explain why he will not authorize further DNA testing. Dodge told the News that Idaho Falls Prosecuting Attorney Bruce Pickett recently told her Tapp will remain in prison because of his confession and the fact that he was convicted by a jury. Pickett has not responded to a phone call or e-mail asking for his thoughts about Tapp and also about a letter a California attorney sent to Pickett and sent a copy to Island Park news. Dated August 27, the letter, from Gregory Sarno of Castro Valley, blasts Pickett for allegedly making a statement that maybe there would be “closure” for people affected by Angie’s murder now that Tapp’s appeal was denied in July 2012. Sarno’s letter states: “How could there be any closure when the citizens of Bonneville County, the state of Idaho, and the nationwide ‘Dateline’ audience know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ms. Dodge’s cold-blooded killer has not been identified, charged, or incarcerated? In such context, the false imputation to you of remarks about closure brands you as delusional at best, or as harboring a hidden agenda for condoning egregious miscarriage of justice entailed by Mr. Tapp’s imprisonment for more than a decade. “More effective that retraction, as a means of salvaging your tarnished image, would be a press conference asking Attorney General Wasden to reopen the Tapp matter. Justice delayed is justice denied, true, but belated justice is better than none at all.”

9 comments:

Cola Junkert said...

How are we supposed to look up to men like Jared Furhiman and Judge Tingy when they are so willing to leave a murderer and rapist free to roam just because they can't admit they made a mistake? Christipher admited he made mistake all those years ago by lying. Christopher admited his mistake was trusting the detective and telling him what he wanted to hear rather than the truth. But then again, he was lied to also. He was coerced and tricked into that confession. But he ADMITS it. So who's the bigger man now?

David Nolan said...

This a sinful tragic shame that a innocent man remains in jail. It is clear the detectives used leading and suggestive tactics to get a confession. This is criminal.

lori.hollandsworth@gmail.com said...

Please go to gopetition.com and sign the petition for Chris Tapp so we can take it to the correct Idaho Officials to reopen this case! Gopetition.com / Chris C. Tapp

Suzabella said...

After reviewing everything, I believe "Mayor" Furhiman, his cop-buddy, the judge, or a relative thereof is the sole guilty party/parties to this heinous crime. The cover-up of the real killer is obvious. There are several people involved in the cover-up

Anonymous said...

Any news?! This man needs to be freed and the real murderer needs to be found !

sandygold1 said...

What's going on with this case? This man is innocent. Prosecutors and cops will never admit they are wrong even if an innocent nN rots in jail. Shame on them,. They only expose their stupidity and hypocricy,. Shame shame

sandygold1 said...

How do I sign a petition? Looked it up but can't find it. This young man needs to be freed and the authorities know it. I will sign and share. Any help would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Lori Hollandsworth is a drug addict., an alcoholic., and pill popper. While her husband has been in prison she's had multiple affairs and children. I think she'd do or say anything for more of her drugs and booze. I know her. I was one of her many affairs. I got her pregnant exactly 2 weeks of knowing her. She's a pretty stupid slut. Lol.

arron byler said...

DEAR,MRS DODGE ,MY HEART BREAKS FOR YOU AS YOU GO THROUGH THIS UNGODLY PART OF LIKE AS BEING IN THE AMISH MENNONITES, AND NOW LIVING IN THIS WORLD THAT WE ARE PART OF ,JUST IN THE PAST FEW MOS,WE HAD A MAN IN OUR AMISH CHURCH HERE ALSO MURDERED AND THEY SAY THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON ,,,BUT I REMEMBERED SOMETHING MY DADDY TOLD ME AS A BOY ,NOTHING THAT IS IN DARKNESS WILL STAY IN DARKNESS IT WILL COME TO LIGHT ,,,,,,,AND FOR ONE THING FOR SURE IT WILL COME TO LIGHT ,, I CAN SAY THAT THIS THAT I BELIEVE THAT CHIS DID NOT DO THIS,,,, BUT WE HAVE PEOPLE IN HIGH OFFICE;S THAT DON'T NEVER WANT TO BE WRONG SO THIS IS WHY WE HAVE UNGODLY PEOPLE IN OFFICES IN OUR GOVERNMENT AND THEY ARE NOT FOR US THE AMERICANS THEY WANT OUR COUNTRY TO BE MUSLIM AND NOW THEY HAVE AIRPORTS BUILDING PRAYER ROOMS FOR THEM ,,BUT WE ARE NOT TO PRAY IN SCHOOL OR ANYWHERE ,SO AS I LEAVE THIS HERE FOR YOU ,I WANT YOU TO KNOW YOU HAVE OUR PRAYERS AND LOVE ,AND IF IN ANYWAY I CAN HELP IF JUST TO CHAT OR PRAY WITH YOU ANYTIME DAY OR NIGHT ,I WOULD DO SO IN THE NAME OF OUR LOVING LORD -GOD HIMSELF JESUS CHRIST,,,,YOUR BRO, IN CHRIST ADRIAN LEE -270/483/1406 STANDING READY UNTIL JESUS CALLS US HOME ,,,,,,,