FORT COLLINS — A prosecution expert whose testimony helped convict Tim Masters of murder helped write the arrest warrant in the case, according to court testimony this morning.
And an attorney who represented Masters at his 1999 trial said that compromised Dr. Reid Meloy's position as an unbiased expert witness.
"An expert, to be effective, needs to be perceived by the jury as being objective, as standing back and taking a scientific look at the evidence," attorney Nathan Chambers testified. "That view of the evidence is compromised if they are not objective but rather are a part of the prosecution team."
Masters is serving a life sentence for the Feb. 11, 1987, stabbing and sexual mutilation of Fashion Bar manager Peggy Hettrick. He is fighting for a new trial on the grounds that police and prosecutors failed to turn over information about a now-deceased Fort Collins ophthalmologist who his attorneys believe should have been investigated as a potential suspect.
Hettrick's killer stabbed her in the back and sliced away flesh from her vagina and one breast.
Masters was 15 when Hettrick was killed. He lived in a trailer overlooking the field where her body was found, and hew as a prime suspect from the first hours of the investigation.
It wasn't until 1998, however, that he was arrested and charged with murder.
Chambers, who represented Masters during his 1999 trial, returned to the stand for a second day to answer questions from David Wymore, who is leading the fight to win a new trial.
After Chambers took the stand, Wymore handed him a letter written on July 24, 1998, by Fort Collins police Lt. Jim Broderick, the lead investigator in the Hettrick homicide. That letter was addressed to the two prosecutors who handled the Masters case, Terry Gilmore and Jolene Blair.
Chambers read it for a few minutes, shaking his head slightly.
"I don't recall ever seeing this," he said. "It's pretty shocking though."Hettrick Evidence Points To Doctor
Rocky Mountain News