- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - New DNA testing in a 1996 Idaho murder found genetic material belonging to an unknown man but no DNA matching that of the person currently imprisoned for the killing.

The Post-Register reports (https://bit.ly/29wo1Kw ) that DNA samples taken from the body of 18-year-old Angie Dodge didn’t belong to Chris Tapp, who is currently in prison for her murder after confessing.

There was also no match to a second man who police suspect was involved with the murder.

The samples were taken from swabs of Dodge’s hands, the clothing she was wearing and a teddy bear found near her body. The DNA points to an unknown man who left semen, hair and skin cells at the crime scene.

Public defender John Thomas said the results indicate that Tapp’s confession was false.

“It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind that he was not there,” Thomas said. “His DNA has never been found on any piece of evidence at the crime scene.”

Tapp is serving a sentence of 30 years to life for the 1996 rape and murder of Dodge. He was convicted because he confessed.

Tapp says it was a false confession and that he knows nothing about the crime except what was fed to him by police during a series of long interrogations and polygraph tests.

“We’re going to ask the court to overturn the conviction based on the new DNA evidence, which shows that Chris Tapp’s confession was false,” Thomas said.

A slew of reports from former FBI investigators, a polygraph expert, DNA experts and false confession experts have come to the same conclusion: Tapp falsely confessed under coercion. Angie Dodge’s mother, Carol, has reached the same conclusion.

Bonneville Prosecutor Danny Clark said the DNA tests also found trace amounts of DNA from other males. He declined to say what the new evidence means for Tapp.

“We stipulated to this testing,” he said. “We’ll continue to do that any time there’s testing available to do.”


Information from: Post Register, https://www.postregister.com

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