His new life: traveling, eBay, even gas prices
BY TREVOR HUGHES
In the six months after his release from prison, Tim Masters traveled Europe, visited friends and family across this country, got a new apartment in Greeley, acquired a car - three, actually - and started figuring out what he wants to do for a living.
He's repeatedly been interviewed by reporters, had his picture taken innumerable times, and finds that people who recognize him on the street more often than not give him a thumbs-up.
Oh, and like you, he's worried about high gas prices.
"They're killing me," Masters said this week over lunch at a Greeley restaurant. "It costs so much to fill up."
Until Jan. 22, Masters, 35, hadn't worried much about gas prices. The only places he traveled were court, jail and prison in the back of a sheriff's van. He said he still gets a little lurch in his stomach driving up Interstate 25 near the Prospect Road exit, which deputies took when delivering him to county jail on Midpoint Drive.
Until Jan. 22, Masters stood convicted of murdering Peggy Hettrick when he was 15. He was convicted by a jury in 1999 and sent to prison.
But on Jan. 22, a judge overturned his conviction and vacated his life sentence in light of new DNA evidence pointing to a new suspect. While charges against Masters have been dropped, he has not been formally exonerated.
That's been causing problems for Masters, who spent eight years in the Navy as an aircraft mechanic between his high school graduation and his arrest in 1998.
While he'd like to work as an aircraft mechanic again, Masters says he's worried about having to explain a nearly 10-year blank spot on his resume.
And besides, he's had enough of answering to other people - first his father, then the military, then prison guards.
"I don't want to work for someone else right now," he said.
Being his own boss
That's led to a burgeoning interest in attending auctions and selling stuff online. Masters has been going to car auctions - he ended up with an older Saturn - along with sales at storage-unit lockers.
On Thursday, Masters joined a group of about 20 bidding on six lockers at the Stor Mor in Fort Collins, his uncle Elmer Schneider in tow.
Masters said he tends to avoid Fort Collins, especially if he's driving. He continues to view the local police with a skeptical eye.