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Sydney Carton
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Tim Masters Case:Cops Against Cops
« on: January 18, 2008, 05:28:25 PM »

   Anderson Cooper ( 10 p.m.)is devoting his show this evening (Friday)to the case of fifteen (now thirty-five)year old Tim Masters. Masters was convicted of the horrendous(but not entirely uncommon) murder of a much older woman.
   True, Cooper is not the most balanced of commentators and I would always urge checking his slant on anything(even people and things in which I believe) against third and fifth alternative sources.However this time he appears to have struck  the nail  square on the head.
   How often do you see a police department split? You will tonight.Cops who spoke out,with nothing in the world to gain once they were off the force. There is a forensic expert(former witness for the prosecution) who now says reams of facts and exhibits were concealed from him to get an admittedly erroneous forensics analysis.
   No,Durham isn't the only place these things happen;but Colorado has ,at a minimum,the half of of one police department that is trying (belatedly) to clean its own house.
    Will the local judiciary allow them to have separate thoughts?
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Tim Masters Case:Cops Against Cops
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2008, 03:57:32 PM »

   Great news.The Cooper special was superceded by the DA's announcement that Tim Masters will be released on Tuesday.New state-of-the-art DNA testing implicates a different long time suspect as the killer.
   Tim has ben suffering for twenty years and now the State is ending his ordeal only three days after announcing the new evidence.Why can't a few hundred other equally innocent people get equally quick resolutions from the District Attorneys involved.
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Tim Masters Case:Cops Against Cops
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 03:43:03 PM »

   The Masters case has inspired an indepth four part  series in the Denver Post on Prosecutorial and Police Crimes recently perpetuated in the course of convicting innocent people.
   As far as is currently known Mike Nifong is the only one of the lot to see
any time behind bars(one lousey day!).
   No less than two of Masters' former prosecutors are now judges.They are unlikely to run shotgun on crooked cops who conceal, or destroy,evidence helpful to the defense.
   
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Tim Masters Case:Cops Against Cops
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2008, 03:44:04 PM »

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Sydney Carton
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Re: Tim Masters Case:Cops Against Cops
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2008, 02:48:35 PM »

   
    " Masters said he can't thank his family enough for standing by him. And though he spoke with reverence of his father, there was an undertone of resentment in his words. It was his father, he said, who initially told him to cooperate with police, a decision that ultimately would be his undoing.

His father allowed police to search their trailer. He also allowed Masters to be interrogated for hours without an attorney. Police would use the evidence and interrogation to convict Masters in 1999.

"We'll cooperate with them and give them anything they want and then they'll see that you didn't have anything to do with this and they'll move on," Masters recalled his father telling him in 1987. "It turns out that by cooperating with them it just encouraged them, because I was the easiest suspect to go after."

Clyde Masters knew his son hadn't committed the crime, but he thought police were there to help, Masters said. His father was in the Navy for 22 years and felt you should obey authority, he added.

"Well, you know what? You shouldn't always submit to authority. Our country wouldn't exist if everyone submitted to authority," he said. "It's just a shame Dad didn't know how the system was."

   Well, Duke and Nifong jointly told the Lacrosse team,if you are innocent you don't need an attorney when you go to the police. Marty Tarnow is yet another teenager who learned the contrary the hardest way possible.
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Tim Masters Case:Cops Against Cops
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2008, 01:51:11 PM »

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Sep 10, 5:34 AM EDT


Censure for 2 ex-prosecutors in Colo. murder case

By P. SOLOMON BANDA
Associated Press Writer

  DENVER (AP) -- Colorado's Supreme Court censured two former prosecutors for failing to turn over information to attorneys for a man who served 10 years in prison on a first-degree murder conviction before he was freed.

Timothy Masters was convicted in 1999 in the 1987 slaying of a Fort Collins woman, Peggy Hettrick. He was released in January after advanced DNA tests failed to connect him to the killing and months of hearings raised questions about how the case was prosecuted.

Terrance A. Gilmore and Jolene C. Blair, both now judges in Colorado's 8th Judicial District, prosecuted the case. In an agreement with the Supreme Court's Office of Attorney Regulation, both acknowledged failing to ensure defense attorneys received several key pieces of information obtained by police that called into question Masters' guilt. Prosecutors failed to gather the information from police despite indications that it existed.

Tuesday's censure amounts to a public rebuke, said John Gleason, counsel for the attorney regulation office.

Neither judge immediately returned telephone messages left at their chambers after business hours.

"I don't know what to say about that," Masters said of the decision when reached by phone by The Associated Press. "I spent 10 years in prison for something I didn't do. It's something, I guess."

Defense attorney Erik Fischer said the censure vindicates Masters and the efforts of Fischer and co-defense attorney Nathan Chambers.

"If we would have had the evidence that was withheld from us, there's no doubt in my mind that Tim Masters would have been exonerated at the trial," Fischer said.

"This case illustrates the danger to society when police departments and prosecution teams fail to do their constitutional duty and make sure the defendant and the defendant's counsel receive full disclosure of the evidence."

Masters was 15 at the time of Hettrick's slaying on Feb. 11, 1987. He told police that he saw Hettrick's sexually mutilated body in a field behind his house but didn't report it because he thought it was a mannequin. It was a day shy of the anniversary of his mother's death, and he told police he thought somebody was playing a cruel trick on him.

With no physical evidence linking Masters to the slaying, the case went cold. Police continued their investigation until Masters was arrested in August 1998.

Among the pieces of evidence cited by the Office of Attorney Regulation as not being turned over are hundreds of pages of notes used by a forensic psychologist to form opinions about violent drawings found in Masters' bedroom. Police and prosecutors used this report to buttress their circumstantial case against Masters, but his attorneys did not have all of the information, which they could have used to cross-examine the expert.

Other information not turned over included police consultations with other experts, including one who pointed to another potential suspect.

Masters was released after DNA tests requested by his post-conviction defense counsel found the profiles of three men, including an ex-boyfriend, on Hettrick's clothing. None of the DNA belonged to Masters.

A separate investigation of police and prosecutor conduct by a special prosecutor found no criminal wrongdoing.

"It's ridiculous," said Chambers, the co-defense attorney. "They obtain a conviction by cheating and imprison a man for 10 years and there's no consequence. None. I don't know what to say."

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sydney Carton
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Re: Tim Masters Case:Cops Against Cops
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 04:38:04 PM »

 from Bill Andersoon:
    Man says bogus conviction leaves him without wife, job

updated 12:13 p.m. EST, Wed February 25, 2009
By Eliott C. McLaughlin
CNN
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(CNN) -- Tim Masters squarely blames Fort Collins, Colorado, police and prosecutors for his inability to land gainful employment and for his not having a wife and kids at this stage in his life.

In 1987, Masters became the prime suspect in the slaying of Peggy Hettrick, a 37-year-old found in a field near his house. Among the reasons police said they focused on Masters was that he failed to report the body after he found it and his childhood drawings and stories suggested he was fixated on death.

Masters was convicted of murder in 1999, but a judge last year threw out the conviction and released him from prison, citing new evidence that did not implicate Masters. Masters now has a lawsuit pending against several police officers, ex-prosecutors and the city.

The city of Fort Collins has asked a federal judge to dismiss the case.

Now 37, Masters sat down for a phone interview with a CNN reporter who covered his case and subsequent release. He said he still holds a grudge against the police and prosecutors who put him behind bars.

He's living in Greeley, Colorado, and doesn't get back to Fort Collins much, but he does love traveling. Most notably, he's traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands, to appear on a talk show with Richard and Selma Eikelenboom, the Dutch forensic scientists who discovered the DNA evidence that ultimately freed Masters.

Things can be tough sometimes, but anything is better than prison, Masters said of his first year as a free man since being imprisoned.

CNN: How have things been in the year since your release?

Masters: It's a struggle to earn enough money to pay my bills and everything, make a living. Other than that, life is good.

CNN: Do you have a job?

Masters: I buy stuff at auction and I sell it on eBay.

CNN: Do you have trouble finding a job because of your time in jail?

Masters: Yeah, I think that has a lot to do with it. The first thing that comes up on a background check is "charges dismissed -- first-degree murder."

CNN: How else have you been keeping yourself busy?

Masters: Pretty much work. That's it.

CNN: Describe a typical day.

Masters: The big challenge is, first of all, you've got to find out where the auctions are. Once you get that down, then you go to the auctions. Another disadvantage I have is I'm a little outdated on the prices of things, so I'm thinking things are worth a lot less than what they're going for. So I have to learn what things are worth now. I go to the auction, and I bid on stuff. I try and buy it cheap enough that I can make a profit on it, load it into the truck, bring it back to the house. I have shelves all in my basement full of just odds and ends. I put it all on the shelves. I do research on the computer and find out which ones I can actually make a profit on, and I list those. You list the item on eBay and let it run its course through the auction for usually seven days. If it sells, you pack it and ship it off. If it doesn't sell, you can either re-list it as an auction item, re-list it as a store item or throw it in the trash.

CNN: What kind of money do you make in a typical week?

Masters: Not enough.

~snip~

This was the future that Nifong the City of Durham, and the leadership of Duke University had for Reade, Collin, and David.
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