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Posted: 1/23/2008 6:10:55 AM EST
news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080123/us_nm/crime_dna_dc;_ylt=AvVg0de4Fw6xWiNU9G5lnXBvzwcF

Man convicted by drawings is cleared by DNA

Tue Jan 22, 9:21 PM ET

DENVER (Reuters) - A man whose murder conviction was based on gruesome sketches he made as a 15-year-old boy was freed from prison on Tuesday after DNA evidence from the body was found to match the victim's ex-boyfriend and not the convicted man.
Timothy Masters, 36, had served nine and a half years of a life sentence for the 1987 murder of Peggy Hettrick in Fort Collins, Colorado, about 45 miles north of Denver.

Masters was convicted and sentenced to life in 1999 for the crime. The mutilated body of Hettrick, 37, was found in a field near where Masters lived. He was 15 at the time.

Although police focused on the boy at the time of the killing, he wasn't arrested until 1998, when a forensic psychologist reviewed sketches Masters had made. He was tried and convicted based on the circumstantial evidence, and an appellate court upheld his conviction and sentence.

The case was reopened last year, amid allegations that evidence was withheld from his defense team.

The case took a dramatic turn late last week, when a special prosecutor announced that traces of DNA from Hettrick's body did not match Masters. There was, however, a match to Hettrick's ex-boyfriend, who was dismissed as a suspect early in the case.

Master's attorney, David Wymore, said he would ask that prosecutors dismiss the charges against his client. "I'm pretty overwhelmed and just want to see my family," a smiling Masters told reporters after his release.

He was the first inmate in Colorado to be released from prison after DNA testing pointed to his innocence.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by David Storey)
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 6:14:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By purplecheese:
[
Although police focused on the boy at the time of the killing, he wasn't arrested until 1998, when a forensic psychologist reviewed sketches Masters had made. He was tried and convicted based on the circumstantial evidence, and an appellate court upheld his conviction and sentence.

The case was reopened last year, amid allegations that evidence was withheld from his defense team.


I'm shocked.

Link Posted: 1/23/2008 6:15:49 AM EST
Uhhhhhhhh convicted by his drawings at age 15

WOW,

I would be on death row by that account...
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 6:17:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/23/2008 6:18:03 AM EST by Zaphod]
Convicted by DRAWINGS?

I wonder if that "forensic psychologist" will lose his license?
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 6:23:29 AM EST
I firmly believe in cases like this. The prosecutors should endure the same punishment as their victims. At the very least.

Personally I think the death penalty would be justified, Lock up an innocent man should equal loss of life.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 6:23:36 AM EST
Another victim of the thought police

Glad to hear he's free
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 6:26:41 AM EST
Psychology is bullshit.
Link Posted: 1/23/2008 6:29:12 AM EST

traces of DNA from Hettrick's body did not match Masters. There was, however, a match to Hettrick's ex-boyfriend, who was dismissed as a suspect early in the case.


Unless the DNA in question came from under her fingernails, I don't see how it cleared the guy. Blood/hair/fluids could easily have been present from the BF regardless of who actually committed the crime, right?

Link Posted: 1/23/2008 6:29:42 AM EST
awesome!
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