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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.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

48 Hours To Air Tim Masters On Saturday

fter spending nearly a decade in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Timothy Masters walked out of the Larimer County courtroom a free man on Jan. 22, 2008. It’s a story that many in Northern Colorado have become quite familiar with.

On Saturday, the CBS news magazine "48 Hours" will air a special program on the Masters case.

Now, 10 months later, Masters has adjusted to his new life in Greeley. But pieces of his case are still being untangled in Larimer County. Civil suits against current and former Fort Collins police officers and Larimer County prosecutors for wrongful arrest, conviction and imprisonment are pending.

After Masters’ conviction was thrown out, several investigations, including a special investigation by Weld District Attorney Ken Buck, were launched. Most recently, an internal investigation by Fort Collins police cleared Lt. Jim Broderick, the lead investigator on the case, of violating any policies or procedures.

Peggy Hettrick, 37, was stabbed and dumped in a south Fort Collins field on Feb. 11, 1987.

Within hours, police investigators focused on Masters, a 15-year-old high school student who lived in a mobile home next to the field. But it wasn't until 1998 that police arrested him—relying largely on a forensic psychologist's interpretations of his drawings and writings.

The case went to a jury in 1999, and Masters was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. But attorneys David Wymore and Maria Liu, in a series of hearings in 2007 and early 2008, unearthed documents that were never turned over to the attorneys who defended Masters at his trial. Those included reports that showed problems with the circumstantial case against Masters.

Those hearings led to the eventual release of Masters.

To Watch
"48 Hours" airs at 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29 on Denver channel CBS4.

Fort Collins Now


Russell Stephan said...

After watching the first ten minutes of the 48 Hours episode, I had just one question, “Did the Fort Collins police actually think a scrawny 15 year old could drag an average 37 year old female body that far out in a field and leave not a piece of physical evidence at the scene or on his person?”

If there is such a thing as justice, Timothy Masters’ various civil suits will hurt the various individuals, city and state offices with very large monetary verdicts.

At the end of the 48 Hours telecast a rather sheepish Jim Broderick unapologetically says he only has to answer to the victim Peggy Hettrick and not the boy/man wrongly pursued, convicted, and imprisoned for two decades.

Well Mr. Broderick, please explain to me how failing so miserably to do an accurate job speaks to the victim in any way.

Russell Stephan
Westerville, Ohio

Anonymous said...

A man like Jim Broderick needs to spend as many years in prison as Master's did. That would be real justice. I wonder how many others the man helped to send to prison that were innocent.

Anonymous said...

I only have to say that Colorado is lucky I do not live in the state, because if I was selected to be on the jury for the civil trial. Colorado would be a bankrupt state by the time they were through paying out the monetary damages I would award to this man!

Anonymous said...

After watching the first half-hour of this program, I couldn't understand how this man was ever put on trial. The interrogation methods, no lawyer present, etc. should have been enough to stop any trial from taking place. The psychologist who testified was arrogant as was the detective in charge. Thank God for the people who believed in Tim Masters and never gave up on him and his innocence. Hope you get a really large settlement, Tim.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! Mr Broderick should be jobless and in prison. Holding your own 'briefcase'? Then he says that Tim should thank him for saving that evidence? Save? Who wouldn't save it? Only Broderick seems to destroy such evidence. Along with 100's of sex tapes from that wacko doc.
The devil is waiting for Mr. Broderick.

Anonymous said...

How refreshing it is to read good comments from intelligent people. Sadly, all of you have it right. The State of Insanity, known as Colorado, is to be avoided. There are many cases of individuals sent to prison due to youth, circumstantial evidence or obvious conniving on the part of the detectives, prosecutors, ineffective counsel and judges.

Colorado is hell itself filled with demonic people in law.

There are many people on your side, Tim. We expect a win.

As for Broderick, he doesn't deserve the title "Mr.", let alone "Lt." ... You obviously do not have our respect.

Peggy Hettrick deserves much better! Don't permit this to be a cold case. Please - just keep Broderick off the case - ANY case.

Anonymous said...

I did not watch 48 hours (didn't know it was airing) but I want to say how thankful I am that this story was aired and hopefully this will show the people of Colorado and the world that there is very little justice in the "In"justice System of Colorado.

Anonymous said...

When I first saw A&E's Cold Case Files a few years ago, Timothy Masters conviction bothered me. When my husband and I, quite by accident, caught the 48Hours piece, I was relieved to know that he had been released.

I hope that someday soon, he will have his justice, and all those that are still claiming he commited this murder and can't accept the fact that he didn't, will have to answer for their single-mindedness.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

They said there was also an unknown DNA found other than her x-boyfriend can they do a DNA test on Mr.Broderick?
It just seems to me that he was so bent on trying to frame that 15 yr old boy. Why? The only reason that they would have an unknown DNA is because the other person has never been in trouble before sounds like there is deffinately a conspiracy for one reason or another.
Why would he hold all the evidence to himself in a box that just does not make sence to me.
For Mr.Broderick to say I'm not appoligizing because I saved all the evidence, he didn't know that he was even holding DNA back then.

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Negocio Desde Casa Mexcio said...

That would suck to go to jail let alone for something you didn't even do

Anonymous said...

Jim Broderick should be fired!!