Tapp's Ex-Attorney, Mayor Fuhriman Take Stand In Murder-Confession Hearing
Wednesday was the second day of testimony in the evidentiary hearing to throw out the 1997 confession by Christopher Tapp to the murder of Angie Dodge in the summer of 1996.
Dodge was raped and murdered in her Idaho Falls apartment, and nearly 15 years ago Tapp was convicted solely on his confession to police.
Tapp?s testimony Wednesday at the Bonneville County Courthouse referenced what prosecutor Bruce Pickett has called discrepancies between a sworn affidavit in 2002 and the sworn testimony over the past few days.
See details on Tuesday's hearing.
Tapp said Wednesday that he and his attorney John Thomas had looked through video of a Jan. 29, 1997 interrogation -- the sole focus of this hearing. They said watching it has cleared Tapp?s memory and that the testimony he is making now is the truth.
Jared Fuhriman, then a detective on the case and now the mayor of Idaho Falls, testified about the details of that day.
He said between videotaped interrogations, Tapp was taken by detectives to the scene of Dodge's murder to jog his memory. Tapp maintains it was suggested they go, but Fuhriman said Tapp asked to go.
Thomas asked Fuhriman if his badge was visible on that day, and Fuhriman said it was warm out that time of year. Thomas reminded him they were talking about January, and Fuhriman said he was confused about the time.
Fuhriman also testified to Tapp coming voluntarily to the police station.
The most surprising part of testimony before noon Wednesday was a state-called witness, Robert Booker, who was a Salt Lake City-based attorney in 1997 who represented Tapp at his trial.
Although Booker was the state?s witness in this hearing, much of his testimony seemed to favor the defense?s position.
The hearing is solely intended to define whether or not Tapp was in custody at the time of the interrogation. Booker made reference to a videotaped polygraph on that day as well as other videotaped conversations between Tapp and the detectives.
?Well, frankly, I had some questions as to whether the polygraph was actually hooked up, so to speak,? Booker said. ?The questions were open ended questions. ? My recollection is that the police theory was that Chris was involved in the murder because he supposedly knew information that had not been disseminated to the public. Christopher's explanation, and some of the transcripts and some of the videotape reveal that they explained to Chris a number of details well before the 29th interview.?
Tapp has never been linked to the crime scene through DNA evidence, though DNA was found at the scene and on Dodge's body. The DNA has been tested against dozens of other individuals, and has never returned a match.
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