CO - Murder conviction tossed; Tim Masters freed after 9 years in jail

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by CW, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. CW

    CW Former Member

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  2. philamena

    philamena Former Member

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    Wow!

    That is an eye opening story.
     
  3. MeoW333

    MeoW333 New Member

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    For this reason i am against the death penalty. However i do think rapists and repeat sex offenders child predators should get it, as we can't cure them.
     
  4. HAWG

    HAWG New Member

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    I agree, It is a shame that this happens alot. But on the other hand something has to be done to make them affraid to comit the crime because they sure are not affraid now!!!
     
  5. Amraann

    Amraann Former Member

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    But and innocent person should not be afraid to go to prison for a crime they did not commit.
     
  6. GlitchWizard

    GlitchWizard Reprobate

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    The more research I do into our system, the more I worry for myself and my daughter about going to prison for something we didn't do. Before I looked into it, I assumed if I were wrongfully arrested, it would all work out in the wash - but I'm firmly convinced now that it's just as likely it wouldn't.
     
  7. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    I'm pleased that you posted this case Windchime.

    Here's a well-worn template for a wrongful conviction. No physical evidence links the defendant to the crime. LE sees but a single suspect. Prosecutors withhold exculpatory evidence. The jury fallaciously concludes proof beyond a reasonable doubt exists.

    Result, a wrongful conviction.
     
  8. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    When LE focuses on a person, that person has one foot on the devil's threshold. The best thing to do is to say absolutely nothing and lawyer up.
     
  9. GlitchWizard

    GlitchWizard Reprobate

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    ...and pray. Not that it does many alot of good.
     
  10. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    There's was a lot more behind this case than the originating article brought out.

    Detective Broderick is to the Masters case as Detective Furhman was to OJ's case, as Detective Brocchini was to Scott Peterson's case and as Detective DiSimone was to Rubin "Hurricane Carter's case. LE has more than its share of Nifongs.

    Moreover, like verdicts in other cases that have been reversed or should be reversed, there was not a shred of hard evidence against Masters. It was a case built on smoke and mirrors pitched to weak-minded jurors by unscrupulous prosecutors.

    No reasonable minded person could have formed the necessary inferences from the alleged evidence to convict Masters. More of the disgusting details behind this wrongful conviction are available in the following link.


    http://www.denverpost.com/evidence/ci_6373222

    Quotes from the article

    "The story behind Hettrick's murder and Tim Masters' conviction is one of inferences blurring with facts, character issues blurring with guilt and theater blurring with truth."
    .
    .

    "The killing of Ms. Hettrick translated Tim Masters' grandiose fantasy into reality," wrote Meloy, who drew this conclusion without even interviewing Masters."
    .
    .
    "Most of these writings and drawings have nothing to do with this grisly murder," wrote Justice Michael Bender in the dissent. "The sheer volume of the inadmissible evidence so overwhelmed the admissible evidence that the defendant could not have a fair trial. ... There exists a substantial risk that the defendant was convicted not for what he did, but for who he is."
    .
    .
    "Today, Broderick says he's 100 percent certain Masters is guilty. He calls it a high point in his career.
    .
    .
    Who destroyed Hammond's evidence? And why? "I had a lot to do with that," Broderick says. "It was an ethical decision. Should we re-victimize all these women by telling them they are victims? So it really was an effort to protect them, to preserve these victims' rights."


    NOTE: At the end of the article there a good number of particularly lucid posts by readers.
     
  11. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/ne...utors-materials-withheld-masters-case-uninte/
    Prosecutors: Materials withheld in Masters case unintentionally

    Special prosecutors previously said some information was not turned over to Masters' defense team during his 1999 trial. Their report said Fort Collins Police Lt. Jim Broderick, who was the lead investigator on the case when it went to trial, did not intentionally hide evidence.
    "Openly referring to these items in police reports made available to the defense is not consistent with any intent or attempt to hide them," the report said.
    The law requires prosecutors to turn over evidence even if they are not aware of it, but from a practical standpoint, that can't be done, said Tom Quammen, an Adams County prosecutor assigned to the case. (more at link)
     
  12. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    Imho, the idea that the threat of capital punishment will deter horrendous criminal acts is a myth. Esp in instances of serial murder. While I was all for capital punishment (for the longest time in fact), it was due to the basic premise of comparing a serial killer to a 'farm dog gone bad' (the old saying, once they've tasted blood, they're no good anymore). Hence, my opinion was, put them out of society's misery as opposed to, let's show other would be's what could happen to them. My opinion regarding capital punishment is quite different today. Esp in light of the issue of false convictions. After all, it's not like we (the universal we) can say, "oops, sorry, we made a mistake" after we put the wrong person to death. Furthermore, the argument (which I used to naively believe) that it costs more to house these people than it does to just fry them is completely bogus. It cost 60mil to fry Bundy—an order of magnitude more than it would have cost to keep him incarcerated for the rest of his adult life. That is, unless he lived to the ripe old age of 600 years old. And finally, imho, capital punishment is not only erratically meted out but it is about revenge. Pure and simple. Imho, when we, as a society, ever get around to acknowledging that bit, we might actually start getting somewhere. Then again, this is nothing more than my opinion...
     
  13. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    At which point LE makes sure the media gets wind of it, so talk show pundits and arm chair sleuths can proclaim that said person "must be guilty!"

    In all seriousness, I absolutely agree. In fact, even LE isn't necessarily "focusing" imho, lawyering up is a wise decision. After all, people have a horrible habit of running off at the mouth and saying things that could be completely misconstrued. Whereas lawyers are trained in parsimony.
     
  14. Bobbisangel

    Bobbisangel New Member

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    I'm still all for the death penalty in some cases...when there is no doubt that the person caught is the killer...Jesse Lunsford's killer, etc. When a person is caught red handed or DNA points to that person with out a doubt then I think they should get the death penalty. Otherwise, give them LWOP.

    It seems like the people who have been freed have been people the were arrested when there was no way to test DNA or the DNA wasn't tested at all like in this guy's case.

    We do have some creepy cops and Prosecutors who just want an arrest and arrest the first person that looks like they might be guilty. That isn't right and neither is not handing over all evidence to the defense. I want to see every guilty person spend years or their life in prison but their conviction has to be on the up and up.
     
  15. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    Quick filed a motion this month citing four instances in which police and prosecutors should have handed over evidence to Masters' original defense team. See the key players in the case ยป

    Among them was a police interview with a plastic surgeon who said it was improbable that a teen could have made the meticulous cuts necessary to remove Hettrick's body parts. Also, according to Quick's motion, police failed to divulge that a renowned FBI profiler warned police that Masters' penchant for doodling gruesome horror scenes did not tie him to the crime.

    Those sketches, along with a collection of narratives and knives, helped convince the jury of Masters' guilt. No physical evidence was found tying Masters to the crime.


    I remember seeing this case on one of those "crimetainment" shows......Cold Case Files, or something like that. The show definitely left the impression that no teenage boy would draw the pictures this kid drew unless he was a homicidal maniac....the strong, strong impression left with the viewer was that Tim Masters was guilty, and HOW.

    Cases like this are WHY I always try to give the perception of innocence. We, the public, were not made aware of any evidence that would support this 15 year old BOY's innocence, we were only told of the evidence (nothing but proximity and some comic-book like drawings) that would 'prove' his guilt.
     
  16. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    The same DNA testing that is freeing folks now will make it much less likely that there will be future false convictions.

    Some states have 30,000 DNA profiles to be entered but don't have the money to hire enough people to do it. If every state can be brought up to speed, we may see many more released and many cold cases solved.
     
  17. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    Well, Hawg, when an innocent man is sent to prison or to death, it means the guilty one is walking free. Not much to be afraid of there.

    The death penalty should be applicable in the narrowest of cases, and it should require a much more stringent evidence pool----including DNA----than all other sentences.

    We've seen too many men walk out of prison YEARS after they were incarcerated for me to feel comfortable with what is going on in the death chambers of USA. No walking out of there.


    Oh, yes. It happens. I remember watching the "Interogation of Michael Crowe" and calling all my boys in to inform them that police can lie to you! Question a youth for HOURS without parental knowledge or consent! They can do their best to make you believe that black is white and that you've done something you NEVER DID. I told my boys that the FIRST words out of their mouths should always be, "I want a lawyer."

    We want the guilty prosecuted here in USA, not the innocent.

    And anyone who has not already read the article WUDGE posted, please go right now and read it. It' an eyeopener into what we know went wrong here, and what might be going wrong in PodunkVille or New York City right now.
     
  18. ttrachel04

    ttrachel04 New Member

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    Man you should have been in Buffalo for the past two years.

    1) Anthony Capozzi
    So for decades the man dubbed the 'Bike Path Rapist' terrorized the Buffalo area. He raped girls that were, for the most part, walking along bike paths. This escalated into murder when he raped and killed a student at University at Buffalo (on the campus!!) in 1991. He struck a few more times in the early 90's, and then he just stopped. We all thought he was either arrested for another crime or dead. But then in the fall of 2006 he killed Joan Diver, another woman on a bike path. NY set up the Bike Path Rapist Task Force, and they found the guy. They also linked him to several other rapes -- two for which someone (Anthony Capozzi) had already served 25 years for! The task force deemed that he never should have been convicted in the first place, given his mental capacity. Worst part: the DA Frank Clark (a-hole) was reluctant to overturn the conviction.

    2) Lynn DeJac
    Convicted over 10 years ago of killing her daughter, Crystallin Girard. The whole time she maintained her innocence, saying Dennis Donohue (her ex) is the killer. Just recently, Dennis Donohue was arrested, for killing another ex of his, Joan Giambra, and trying to kill her daughter. He's also being investigated for the 1975 murder of ANOTHER ex-girlfriend of his. (Pattern?)

    Originally, the D.A. Frank Clark was reluctant to give Lynn DeJac a murder trial, despite the fact that Donohue's D.N.A. was found in Girard's blood at the crime scene. Clark's excuse: Girard (who was 13 at the time) MAY have been engaging in consentual sex with Donohue. Eventually, DeJac was granted a re-trial and let out of jail. Just recently, the D.A. announced that they were dropping all charges again DeJac, because they found cocaine in Crystallin's body during the autopsy report. They are revising her cause of death to overdose from cocaine. PROB: according to the original defense attorney, the trace of cocaine was SO small that she may not even have taken it, it may have gotten into her blood stream by some other means (I have no clue what that means, but you never know). The mom still says Donohue did it.

    Here's the interesting part. No matter what, Donohue has immunity for testifying AGAINST Lynn DeJac in the first trial. IMO ruling it as cocaine OD is just avoiding the fact that they screwed up so bad originally! Plus I have little respect for Frank Clark after defaming Crystallin Girard, the victim, and his reluctancy to re-examine the case against Anthony Capozzi after evidence pointed to his innocence.

    Okay done with my rant, lol!
     
  19. noZme

    noZme Active Member

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    (Note: I found no reference in WebSleuths to this case and included it in this category because of current the bills in Colorado legislature. If this should have been placed in another spot, I apologise.)


    1988 Ft Collins, Colorado. Peggy Hettrick, 37, college dropout, aspiring writer who worked at a clothing store was attacked after leaving a bar at 1:30 AM. Her killer stabbed her in the back with a large knife, then sliced away flesh from her genitals and breast then left her body in a field.


    That field was next to the home of Tim Masters, then a 15-year-old high school student, who quickly became the focus of the investigation. It was 11 years before investigators obtained enough evidence to arrest him. He was convicted in 1999, largely on the basis of a forensic psychologist's analysis of hundreds of violent drawings and writings produced by Masters when he was a teenager. Prosecutors had no physical evidence linking him to the crime and the murder weapon was never found. Master’s has always maintained his innocence.


    In 1995, between Hettrick's killing and Masters' arrest another neighbor, prominent eye surgeon Dr Richard Hammond, was arrested on a sexual exploitation charge, and police investigators found roughly 300 videotapes, many of them containing extreme close-ups of women's genitals after a house-sitter discovered a secret videotaping system in his home that captured images of dozens of women using the bathroom. He committed suicide a week later, before formal charges were filed. Fort Collins police investigators obtained a court order allowing the destruction of all the evidence in the case. The reason? Hammond was dead, and women who appeared on the videos were worried about their privacy.


    Her date the night she was killed and her ex-boyfriend were both suspects at one time.


    Fast forward to 2004 and new interest in the Hettrick case. Evidence was found to have been withheld from the defense. The victim had undergone a vulvectomy, a procedure requiring a high degree of surgical skill and high-grade surgical instruments. Moreover, it couldn't have been done without good lighting and placing Hettrick's legs in a frog position. It is highly unlikely that a 15-year-old with no background in anatomy could perform this precise surgical procedure. This assessment not only excluded Masters as the killer, it relocated the crime scene to a room with bright lighting. Not only did Masters not have surgical training, he was too young to drive. This information could have kept Masters out of prison. It also could have led police to other suspects, including Hammond and others.


    Masters' legal team launched one of the most ambitious and expensive bids ever in Colorado to prove a man's innocence. The most-advanced DNA techniques available proved cells from Hettrick's clothing were not from Tim Masters. In hearings that began in September 2007 Masters' new defense team alleged police and prosecutorial misconduct in the investigation and trial.


    In January 22, 2008, a Colorado judge threw out Masters' 1999 murder conviction and he was freed after spending nine years behind bars. The state legislature is working on new laws regarding evidence in criminal investigations. Currently Colorado law has no requirement that evidence be preserved and shields liability to authorities who destroy evidence after criminal trials are complete.


    Multiple articles are available from the following links:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_Hettrick

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/special-reports/tim-masters/


    http://www.denverpost.com/evidence/ci_637322


    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/01/22/masters.case/index.html
     
  20. md70

    md70 New Member

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    I just saw a two hour special on this case on ID. I'm surprised there isn't more discussion on it. I found this to be fascinating case.
     

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