Eastern Idaho man to be released after DNA contradicts conviction

Posted at 10:20 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 00:20:24-04

The Idaho Innocence Project says, they're about to free another wrongfully convicted man.
Chris Tapp was convicted of raping and killing an 18 year old woman in Idaho Falls in 1996.

But a deal is set to release Tapp thanks to DNA evidence.
A big question now is if a possible miscarriage of justice will follow Tapp forever.
It took ten years of hard work for the Idaho Innocence Project to get a Chris Tapp freed.

"To me, it's just a horrible, horrible case of tunnel vision," says project Director Greg Hampikian,  "A fake confession, and DNA evidence that was not paid attention to. And it's not just one piece of DNA evidence. Not just some spurious little semen. It's a pubic hair. It's her hand. It's her bedclothes. It's her teddy bear in her room. It's all one guy -- not Chris Tapp."

Tapp was convicted of raping and killing 18 year old Angie Dodge in 1996 in Idaho Falls.
Hampikian says a videotaped confession from tapp was coerced during 40 hours of interrogation.

"It's bogus.  A young man repeating to interrogators what they wanted to hear.  They threatened him with the gas chamber and Chris had no recourse, no lawyer in the room with him."

Even the victim's mother campaigned for Tapp's release after seeing the compelling DNA evidence.
Now, a reported deal will set Tapp free.
But Hampikiean wonders if it will exonerate him?

"I'm not sure what they're going to do.  Sure they'll let him out, but sometimes the state has conflicting interests. It's time for the state to admit it made a mistake and do the right thing.  And I hope they will."