The man convicted of one of the most brutal murders in Idaho Falls' history is back in the city. He's traveled from prison to prove to a judge that his rights were violated during his criminal trial.
In 1998, Christopher Tapp was sentenced to life in prison for raping and killing 19-year-old Angie Dodge in her apartment on I Street. Tapp has been denied an appeal, so he's exercising another legal option called post conviction relief. He claims his trial attorneys didn't represent him properly.
Tapp has recently hired a new attorney, John Stosich, to represent him in this civil matter. Although the hearing was postponed for two weeks, Stosich did address some of the issues he plans to argue for Tapp.
He said that Tapp's Fifth Amendment rights were violated when police interrogated him without the supervision of his lawyer. Stosich also alluded to some mental health issues Tapp has that were not addressed during trial.
The hearing was rescheduled for November 5. That day, Deputy Bonneville County Prosecutor Bruce Pickett will argue that there is no legal basis for Tapp's claims.
If a judge grants this post conviction motion, Tapp's prison sentence could be altered. Right now, he is sentenced to life in prison, but he'll be eligible for parole in 2027.
Idaho Falls police say that Tapp didn't act alone in the murder of Angie Dodge. They believe one or more of her murderers are still on the loose.
Less than a year ago, Angie's mom got DNA results back from a lab in Florida that verifies DNA found at the crime scene matches a Caucasian male.