Eighteen-year-old Angie Dodge was raped and killed in her Idaho residence a quarter-century in the past and an harmless man wrongly served 20 years in jail for the crime

Brian Leigh Dripps Sr., 55, should serve not less than 20 years in jail earlier than he shall be eligible for parole, seventh District Decide Joel Tingey stated.

Dripps’ protection attorneys say his medical issues — together with a historical past of coronary heart points and an autoimmune illness — makes it unlikely that he’ll stay lengthy sufficient to get parole.

“Twenty-five years is a very long time to attend for some kind of closure on such a brutal crime,” Tingey stated. “ … It is unimaginable to quantify how a lot harm has been triggered, and it is unfold huge.”

Angie Dodge had simply moved into her personal house in Idaho Falls in 1996 when she was killed. Prosecutors stated Dodge was asleep when Dripps entered her house and that he raped her and minimize her throat so severely that she was almost decapitated.

Instantly after the killing, investigators zeroed in on one other suspect — Christopher Tapp.

Officers with the Idaho Falls Police Division repeatedly questioned him for hours, feeding him particulars of the case and telling him he may face the dying penalty until he implicated himself and one other suspect. Tapp ultimately wrongfully confessed to the crime, although he later professed his innocence, and was convicted.

However Tapp had the assist of the advocacy group the Idaho Innocence Undertaking at Boise State College, and ultimately Dodge’s mom, Carol Dodge, and the New York-based Innocence Undertaking.

DNA proof collected from the crime scene wasn’t examined till 2016 and it confirmed that Tapp’s genetic materials wasn’t current within the pattern. He was launched in 2017 after reaching a deal wherein his homicide sentence was diminished to time served and the rape conviction was vacated.

In the meantime, investigators periodically labored the chilly case, hoping to uncover what actually occurred the night time Dodge was killed.

They started utilizing DNA databases to attempt to discover a suspect or somebody more likely to be associated to the one that left the DNA.

After a number of lifeless ends, in 2019 they found a potential suspect who had lived in Idaho Falls on the time of the homicide and was now dwelling throughout the state in Caldwell — Brian Dripps Sr.

Legislation enforcement officers tailed Dripps and scooped up a cigarette butt he’d thrown from a automobile window. It had sufficient DNA current to indicate it matched the pattern left on the crime scene again in 1996.

When confronted by police, Dripps confessed, saying he was excessive on cocaine and alcohol and had deliberate to rape Dodge, not homicide her. He claimed he didn’t bear in mind slicing Dodge’s throat. However he didn’t deny it.

Dripps’ confession led to Tapp being formally exonerated of the crimes.

“A younger man spent a good portion of his life in jail for no good purpose. He was harmless. That falls on you,” the choose instructed Dripps through the sentencing listening to.

Angie Dodge’s brother, Todd Dodge, instructed the court docket that Dripps “dropped an atomic bomb within the middle of our household and our neighborhood” and spoke of the guilt and frustration that he, jurors and others concerned within the unique trial towards Tapp felt after studying Tapp was harmless.

“He sentenced me to a lifetime of hell — thus far I’ve served 9,126 days,” Todd Dodge stated of Dripps.

One other brother, Roger Dodge, stated Angie Dodge’s homicide is probably the most devastating factor he is ever skilled.

Dripps additionally spoke, providing an apology.

“I’m sorry. I did not intend for this to occur,” he stated. “Want we may have an opportunity at a do-over as a result of I might do over that day … I do know you will by no means forgive me however I’m sorry.”

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