Attorney for man accused of killing Angie Dodge argues he’s a ‘kind, loving father’
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IDAHO FALLS — The attorney for Brian Dripps Sr. says his client is a gentle man who is not the same person he was 23 years ago when he allegedly raped and killed 18-year-old Angie Dodge in her Idaho Falls apartment.
Dripps, 53, is charged with rape and first-degree murder for the June 1996 crimes. He told investigators last week he only intended to rape Dodge and did not mean to kill her when he entered her I Street apartment, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.
The Caldwell man appeared for his arraignment Monday afternoon via live video from the Bonneville County Jail. He was seated next to his attorney, Joshua Taylor, and said little during the hearing (watch the entire arraignment in the video player above). Angie’s mother, Carol Dodge, sat on the front row in the courtroom. Dripps’ mother and sister sat on the opposite side of the room.
“I’ve had a dozen people reach out to me over the weekend…fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, construction workers, ranchers, store managers,” Taylor told Magistrate Judge Mark L. Riddoch. “I know what the complaint says. And I know the person it describes from 23 years ago. That man is not this man. This man is described by those people as gentle and kind, a loving father, a good father.”
Carol Dodge shuddered in disbelief at that statement.
He asked Riddoch to release Dripps on his own recognizance or consider setting bail at $100,000.
Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Clark opposed the request.
“The facts of the case are horrific,” Clark said. “What we have here is a DNA match from this defendant at the crime scene all over the victim, all over the apartment and we’ve got a confession that matches that statement. From the state’s perspective, the likelihood of conviction is quite high.”
Riddoch denied bail based on the gravity of the charges and the fact that Dripps could receive the death penalty. Clark tells EastIdahoNews.com he is considering the option and has 60 days to decide whether he will pursue it.
Dripps showed little emotion as he learned he will remain in jail. He answered questions from Riddoch and said he only made $1,400 a month so would likely need a public defender in the future. Taylor said he is currently representing Dripps, but another person is paying his fees.
Dripps will next appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 2.