An Idaho man who confessed to a cold-case slaying that sent an innocent man to prison for almost 20 years has been sentenced to life behind bars.
Brian Leigh Dripps Sr., 55, who pleaded responsible in February to raping and fatally stabbing 18-year-old Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls in 1996, should serve at the least 20 years in prison earlier than being eligible for parole, the Idaho Statesman reported.
Dripps was arrested in Might 2019 after investigators linked his DNA to the murder scene.
One other man, Christopher Tapp, had been convicted by a jury in Dodge’s slaying in 1998, though his DNA wasn’t discovered inside her house, the place she was almost decapitated, East Idaho Information reported.
Attorneys for Tapp have mentioned he was coerced to confess and offered names of different alleged accomplices within the slaying whose DNA additionally didn’t match crime scene proof.
He was launched from custody in 2017 after his rape conviction was vacated and his murder sentence was lowered to time served, in accordance to the Innocence Mission, which picked up his case.
“A younger man spent a big a part of his life in prison for no good cause,” Choose Joel Tingey advised Dripps Tuesday. “That falls on you.”
Dripps, who pleaded responsible to first-degree murder and rape, apologized to Dodge’s kin who attended the sentencing listening to. He claimed in February that he deliberate to rape Dodge however by no means supposed to kill her, saying he was “fairly excessive on cocaine and alcohol” on the time.
“I simply want I may do over that night time,” Dripps mentioned, in accordance to East Idaho Information. “I’m sorry. I do know you’ll by no means forgive me, however I’m sorry.”
Dripps had a coronary heart assault whereas jailed in November and his attorneys declare the minimal of 20 years he’ll spend in prison means he’ll possible die behind bars.
“When speaking about his declining well being, [Dripps] thought this was God’s means of punishing him for what he did to Angie,” protection lawyer James Archibald mentioned. “So I can inform the courtroom that he has felt dangerous, he has felt horrible, felt remorseful about what occurred.”
However Idaho Deputy Legal professional Basic Jessica Kuehn mentioned Dripps knew for 23 years that he killed Dodge — and selected to by no means personal up to his actions.
“He knew somebody was serving time for his crime, and but day by day, he awakened and refused to take accountability for his actions,” Kuehn mentioned Tuesday.
Investigators mentioned they recognized Dripps as Dodge’s killer utilizing genetic family tree. He lived throughout the road from the girl on the time and cops linked his DNA to the crime scene from a cigarette butt he tossed into the street, East Idaho Information beforehand reported.
Dodge’s mom, in the meantime, mentioned in a press release Tuesday that Dripps “shattered” her household, whereas the murdered lady’s brother mentioned Dripps was the “definition of evil,” East Idaho Information reported.
“There isn’t any means to choose up the items ever once more,” Carol Dodge mentioned in her assertion. “You, Brian Dripps, deserve everlasting hell.”