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Hearing scheduled for Chris Tapp, Idaho Innocence Project calls for full exoneration

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The following is a news release from the Idaho Innocence Project. EastIdahoNews.com has reached out to Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Clark for comment. We will update this story when we receive a response.

The Idaho Innocence Project (IIP) is pleased to announce that Christopher Tapp will be in court on Monday, July 1 for a status conference. We are hoping that the prosecutor will take this opportunity to address what is now a tortuously long process of exoneration.

Tapp has been an IIP client since 2007. He was convicted of the 1996 rape and murder of Angie Dodge. Over the years several DNA tests have all excluded Tapp, and provided police with the profile of an unknown man. Tapp was freed in 2016, but is still waiting for his name to be cleared.

RELATED | What’s next for Chris Tapp? And Brian Dripps? Bonneville County Prosecutor answers those questions

On May 16, the Idaho Falls Police Department held a press conference to announce that Brian Dripps confessed to stabbing Angie Dodge on his own in 1996. Mr. Dripps is also a match to the DNA evidence in the case, including semen and a pubic hair recovered from the victim’s body. The Idaho Falls Police chief Bryce Johnson credited the work of new DNA testing by Parabon NanoLabs and forensic genealogist CeCe More for the breakthrough. When asked by the press if Christopher Tapp was owed an apology, Chief Johnson announced that :

“Chris Tapp is another very important part of this case that deserves its day in the sunlight, and we will do that…that day will be in a couple weeks and we’ll do that, whatever is right in a couple of weeks. We need a little more time to dot i’s and cross t’s.”

East Idaho Newsmakers: Extensive interview with Chris Tapp

It has now been almost six weeks and our hope that Chris will have his promised day of sunlight. Mr. Tapp is currently represented by lead attorney John Thomas (Bonneville County Public Defender), Jennifer Cummins (IIP), Peter Neufeld and Vanessa Potkin (The Innocence Project). He has also been represented in post-conviction by former IIP lawyers, Richard Visser and Jared Hoskins, and Dennis Benjamin (Nevin, Benjamin, McKay and Bartlett LLP).

The status conference is public and will begin at 11 a.m. Monday in the Bonneville County Courthouse.

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