Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Masters Attorney Seeks Perjury Investigation

Attorneys waging Tim Masters' innocence bid are seeking a special prosecutor to investigate whether a Fort Collins police detective committed perjury during their client's 1999 trial for Peggy Hettrick's murder.

In a motion filed Friday, attorneys David Wymore and Maria Liu cite newly discovered records linking Jim Broderick to a 1988 surveillance operation of Masters around the one-year anniversary of the homicide.

That may conflict with the officer's trial testimony describing no involvement in the murder investigation between 1987 and 1992.

"This insured that he (Broderick) would not be questioned during cross-examination about his role in or the nature of that operation," according to the pleading.

Broderick said Friday that he was not officially a part of the department's investigative team and simply stopped a suspicious motorist near the crime scene in response to a report from the surveillance team.

"I've never perjured myself, I never have and never will," Broderick said, saying he only served as a patrol supervisor in 1988. "I welcome whoever the court wants to appoint."

Detailed records of the surveillance effort have become a pivotal issue in Masters' pursuit of a new trial. The documents, which are among hundreds of papers only revealed by police during recent weeks, would have bolstered his original defense eight years ago, his attorneys say.

Police mobilized dozens of officers to watch Masters, then 16, theorizing that he would revisit the crime scene, Hettrick's gravesite or act out violently. Instead, he played videogames and occasionally drove his car fast, among other ordinary activities, records show.

Masters was arrested a decade later and convicted based on a psychiatrist's examination of his violent writings as a 15-year-old. No physical evidence tied him to the crime.

He is now seeking a new trial, alleging misconduct by Fort Collins authorities and ineffective counsel. One set of special prosecutors already have been assigned to the case, after the Larimer County DA removed himself earlier this year.

The hearings resume Monday morning in Larimer County District Court

The Denver Post


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