Tapp pleads guilty to misdemeanor battery; sentence suspended - East Idaho News

Tapp pleads guilty to misdemeanor battery; sentence suspended

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IDAHO FALLS — Idaho Falls native Chris Tapp has been convicted on a misdemeanor battery charge for a fight with his wife in October.

Tapp pleaded guilty to the charge last week and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. His sentence was then suspended, and he was given one year of supervised probation in lieu of jail time. As part of the sentencing, Tapp must undergo a domestic violence evaluation and comply with any recommended treatment that comes from the evaluation.

An interference with a telecommunication device charge was dismissed as part of plea agreement, and his original charge of domestic battery was amended to battery.

The charges stem from an Oct. 16 incident where authorities were called to his home for a report of a dispute, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Bryan Lovell told EastIdahoNews.com in October.

Lovell said deputies made contact with Tapp, who was the reporting party, and his wife, who had been in an argument that turned physical. During the incident, Lovell says Stacy Tapp tried to get a cell phone to call police, but was prevented from doing so by Chris Tapp. Deputies also observed minor injuries to Stacy Tapp at the scene.

Chris Tapp was taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and interference with a telecommunication device charge.

Following news coverage of his arrest, Stacy Tapp publicly disputed the police and prosecutor’s version of the story. She claimed it was a misunderstanding, that she had accidentally fallen, and she never wanted her husband to be arrested or charged.

Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney Danny Clark told EastIdahoNews.com Thursday the decision to press charges against Tapp came from the deputy who responded to the home and the evidence gathered that night. He said the state chose to pursue those charges based on the evidence and witness statements from that night.

“Victims changing their statements to indicate nothing happened is a sad, unfortunate reality of many of these cases,” Clark said.

Tapp was convicted in 1997 for the rape and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge after a confession was made to Idaho Falls Police. He spent 20 years in prison, but questions regarding the validity of his confession later surfaced. That, combined with new DNA evidence, ultimately led to Tapp being released last year. At that time, the rape conviction was vacated, though the murder conviction remains on his criminal record.