Thursday, October 23, 2008

Timothy Masters sues over wrongful conviction

My previous post on this case was on July 17, 2007. Police actually BURNED evidence in the case!

Tim Masters, whose murder conviction was overturned earlier this year, is suing several current and former Fort Collins police officers and Larimer County prosecutors for wrongful arrest, conviction and imprisonment. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

On Feb. 11, 1987, a bicyclist on his way to work discovered the body of Peggy Hettrick, a 37- year-old Fashion Bar manager in a south Fort Collins field. Investigators immediately focused on Masters, then a 15- year-old who lived with his father in a mobile home overlooking the field. On Aug. 10, 1998, Masters was arrested for Hettrick's murder, based on a forensic psychologist's interpretation of his drawings and writings. He was convicted the following spring.

In 2003, his case was taken up by two new attorneys, Maria Liu and David Wymore, who pushed for a new trial after finding hundreds of pages of documents that were not turned over to Masters' original defense team. DNA found on Hettrick's clothing was also sent to a Netherlands lab last year, which concluded that it did not match Masters,' but was linked to Hettrick's former boyfriend.

A judge tossed out Masters' conviction in January and dropped the charges against him. On Jan. 22, Masters, 36, was a free man after spending 91/2 years in prison.

The defendants include two former Larimer County prosecutors, Terry Gilmore and Jolene Blair, now judges in the Eighth Judicial district, along with former Larimer County District Attorney Stuart VanMeveren, and current District Attorney Larry Abrahamson. Also named were police Lt. Jim Broderick, former detective Marsha Reed and police Chief Dennis Harrison with Fort Collins police. David Lane, Masters' attorney, did not return calls Tuesday.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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