Special prosecutors in Colorado case point to missing evidence


Tim Masters has been in Colorado prison for eight years for a 1987 murder he has always maintained he didn’t commit, but a court filing yesterday by special prosecutors in the case will boost his chances at a new trial, legal experts say. The special prosecutors were appointed seven months ago to review Masters’ claims of a wrongful conviction, and yesterday marked the first time they have detailed their findings of evidence that wasn’t presented at Masters’ trial.

Masters was convicted in 1999 of murdering Peggy Hettrick when he was just 15 years old. New evidence has pointed to the guilt of a surgeon who lived across the street from the crime scene.   

The new evidence includes:

• A plastic surgeon's comments to Fort Collins police Detective Marsha Reed about the surgical nature of Hettrick's wounds. "None of the information from that conversation appears to have been memorialized by Det. Reed," the pleading states.

• An FBI profiler's memos criticizing the psychological theory that Masters' violent art renderings revealed a fantasy motive to kill Hettrick.

• Details of an unsuccessful week-long surveillance of Masters a year after the 1987 murder.

• Almost 300 pages of research compiled by the prosecution's star witness, some referring to the surgical precision of wounds inflicted on her genitalia and breast.

Hearings in Masters’ case will resume Jan. 22.

Read the full story, and view archived stories, here

. (Denver Post, 1/3/08)

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