IDAHO FALLS – Christopher Tapp will walk free on Wednesday. Tapp was convicted for the rape and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls in 1996.
After more than 35 hours of interrogation, Tapp confessed he was involved with Dodge’s murder and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.
KID Newsradio spoke with Greg Hampikian, director of the Idaho Innocence Project, this morning.
Hampikian said with numerous DNA samples from the crime scene there is no DNA proof that Tapp was at the scene. His confession is the only evidence officials have.
“There was semen recovered from the victim…when DNA was processed from that sample, it clearly showed that Chris Tapp was not the person who left it,” says Hampikian.
The defense presented many experts who testified Tapp is innocent and that police coerced his confession; Tapp has since retracted his confession.
“When the police theory of who matched the semen failed, they charged Chris Tapp with rape and murder which is absurd,” Hampikian continues, “They were using him to implicate others.”
Hampikian says the evidence clearly proves Tapp was not involved in the murder.
“At the Idaho Innocence Project, over the last ten years, we have requested more testing. There was other evidence. There was a pubic hair recovered from the victim that wasn’t hers. When the DNA was tested, that too, matched the same DNA as the semen,” Hampikian explains.
Hampikian states the science has proved over and over again from the beginning that Tapp is innocent. He says the theory that Chris and others were involved was “bogus” from the beginning.
After serving 20 years in prison, Tapp will be released on Wednesday.
Hampikian is ecstatic that Tapp is being released. He says, “It is fantastic that he will get a shot to come out and start a new life.”