Accusations of stonewalling, bickering over DNA tests and lingering questions about missing evidence in Tim Masters' fight for a new trial brought the already drawn-out hearings in the case to a halt on Thursday.
Masters is serving a life sentence for the Feb. 11, 1987, killing of 37-year-old Peggy Hettrick, but he has accused police and prosecutors of withholding evidence that could have helped him earn an acquittal at his trial.
Attorney David Wymore, who is leading the push to get Masters a new trial, accused Fort Collins police officials of dribbling out documents piecemeal and of "ambushing" him with reports even as he stands at the lectern trying to proceed with his case.
"The court has got to impress on the Fort Collins police that it's over," Wymore said. "You don't have a privilege. You don't have a secret file."
And Michael Goodbee, who as assistant district attorney in Adams County is acting as the lead special prosecutor in the case, questioned the reluctance of Wymore to turn over a DNA sample developed from Hettrick's clothing by an expert hired by Masters. That sample, Goodbee said, could be compared to one from Dr. Richard Hammond, a now-deceased eye doctor who Wymore has said should have been considered as a suspect.
"I know there isn't a legal obligation by the defense," Goodbee said, becoming animated, "but if there is a matching DNA profile for Dr. Hammond, for the love of God, turn it over to us because we are in a position to act on it.
Rocky Mountain News