Christopher Tapp exonerated mom kiss 7-17-19

Chris Tapp receives a kiss from his mother Vera after Judge Alan Stephens vacated Tapp’s murder conviction during a recent hearing at the Bonneville County Courthouse as attorney John Thomas looks on. Tapp served more than 20 years in the rape and murder of Angie Dodge until he was exonerated.

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Christopher Tapp is suing the city of Idaho Falls and several former Idaho Falls Police Department officers after he was wrongfully imprisoned for the 1996 rape and murder of Angie Dodge, writes Post Register reporter Johnathan Hogan. "I'm hoping that this nightmare will come to an end," Tapp said in an interview with the Post Register. "I've been living it for the last 23 years of my life."

The lawsuit was filed Thursday morning in U.S. District Court.

Within the lawsuit are the most serious accusations of misconduct ever filed against the Idaho Falls Police Department. The officers involved in the case are accused of fabricating evidence, coercing confessions and testimony, committing perjury and covering up exculpatory evidence.

Tapp was incarcerated for 20 years after police said he confessed to being a participant in the murder that shocked Idaho Falls. His confession drew scrutiny over the years, particularly after a review by Judges for Justice determined his confession was coerced by IFPD officers and he was fed information that police later claimed he provided independently. That information was compelling evidence of guilt for the jury since it was presented as information only the killer could have known.

You can read Hogan's full story here at postregister.com, or pick up today's Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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