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Tapp to file lawsuit against Idaho Falls Police Department

Christopher Tapp enters courtroom Wednesday_1563390608569.png_38999789_ver1.0_1280_720
Christopher Tapp

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-Attorneys for Christopher Tapp have filed notice of a claim that will seek damages for his unjust conviction and imprisonment.

The suit argues Tapp was wrongfully sentenced to prison for the June 13, 1996 murder of Angie Dodge, claiming that he had nothing to do with her death. After more than 20 years in prison, new DNA testing identified another suspect (identified in the notice as Brian Dripps) as the killer.

The Bonneville County Prosecutor's Office moved to set aside Tapp's jury verdict. He was declared innocent of the convictions in a court hearing on July 17, 2019.

Altogether, Tapp had served 20 years, 2 months, and 11 days in custody for a crime he did not commit, according to the document.

In a claim rider filed December 20, Tapp claims violations of his state and federal civil rights, including those guaranteed under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He alleges a long list of violations ranging from false arrest and conviction to conspiracy, libel and defamation.

The suit will name the Idaho Falls Police Department, Police Officer Sergeant Jared Fuhriman, Sergeant Jim Hoffman, Detective Ken Brown, Detective Phillip Grimes, Detective Sergeant Curtis Steacy, Detective Jeff Pratt, Detective Jeff Hansen/Hanson, Detective Steven Finn, Detective Todd Ericsson, Detective Sage Albright, Sergeant John Marley, Mickey Callow and others.

Tapp is seeking damages from the period of his arrest on January 11, 1997 through each year of incarceration. The suit lists those damages including personal injuries, pain and suffering, severe mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of family relationships, severe psychological damage, damage to business and property, legal expenses, loss of income, inflection of physical illness, inadequate medical care, humiliation, indignities and embarrassment, degradation, permanent loss of natural psychological development and restrictions on all forms of personal freedom.

Tapp is being represented in the claim by the firm of Neufeld, Scheck and Brustin of New York City.

The Idaho Falls Police Department issued the following statement Friday:

"The Idaho Falls Police Department is proud of the work done in recent months that lead to the arrest of Mr. Dripps and additional information about the Angie Dodge case. The city has received notice of Mr. Tapp's intent to file a law suit and will participate in the process moving forward."

You can view a full copy of the Tort Claim here.

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