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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cops Notes Imply Report Was Edited

FORT COLLINS — Topping Fort Collins Detective Jim Brod erick's personal to-do list in the summer of 1998 was a reminder to remove references — presumably in police reports that would be given to Tim Masters' original defense attorneys — citing research materials compiled by the prosecution's star witness.

Nearly 300 pages of research by San Diego-based psychologist Reid Meloy to support his theories implicating Masters in Peggy Hettrick's 1987 murder were only recently turned over to Masters' new lawyers.

They contain comments about the surgical precision of her wounds and show that Broderick himself actually developed many of the correlations, eventually adopted by Meloy, tying images in Masters' artwork as a

15-year-old to the crime, his attorneys have argued in recent weeks.

But Broderick's notes, also only recently divulged, provide a rare view into a detective working with a prosecutor to decide what materials in their possession could be deemed exculpatory — in other words, evidence that excludes a defendant.

"Take out Meloy ref to doc extractions," reads Broderick's jottings, under a category titled "For Gilmore — exculpatory covered?"

At the 1999 trial, Meloy portrayed Masters as a teen bent on fulfilling homicidal sexual fantasies rehearsed through his violent writings and drawings. Meloy called the crime a "displaced matricide." Het trick was killed almost four years to the date of the death of Masters' mother.

Some references to Meloy's research "extractions" were included in reports given to Masters' original lawyers. But those attorneys say those mentions offered no insight into the depth and volume of the material that they believe should have been revealed.

Judge Joe Weatherby said, "It raises the question, Why would (he) write something like that?"

"This clearly shows they made a conscious decision to prevent us from having the extractions," testified Erik Fischer, one of Masters' original attorneys.

Also Tuesday, Masters' appeals lawyers David Wymore and Maria Liu filed a formal complaint with the Larimer County district attorney asking for a criminal investigation into whether Fort Collins police illegally eavesdropped on a 1987 conversation in a Police Department room between Masters and his father.

The Denver Post

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