In prison for a murder he has always insisted he did not commit - may have moved closer to winning a new trial Wednesday when a special prosecutor acknowledged that scores of documents were improperly withheld from his attorneys.
The legal filing by Adams County District Attorney Don Quick marked the first formal acknowledgment that police and prosecutors failed to turn over hundreds of pages of records before Masters went on trial in 1999 in Fort Collins.
And it came as the original prosecutors - now district court judges - prepared to take the stand later this month to defend their handling of the case.
Among the documents were records of an expert witness whose testimony was key to the conviction and numerous police reports, including some showing that other outside experts who were consulted disagreed with the conclusions of investigators.
Masters is serving a life sentence for the Feb. 11, 1987, murder of Peggy Hettrick, 37, a manager at a Fashion Bar.
Hettrick's killer stabbed her in the back, then sliced away flesh from her genitalia and left breast. Her body was discovered in a field a few hundred feet from the mobile home the then-teenaged Masters shared with his father.
Rocky Mountain News