Charges Against Masters’ Investigator Dismissed
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – A judge on Monday dismissed charges against a Fort Collins police detective accused of lying in a murder case that ended in the conviction of an innocent man.
Weld District Judge James Hartman dismissed the indictment against detective Jim Broderick on Monday, saying the statute of limitations had expired.
Broderick was charged with seven counts of perjury stemming from his investigation and testimony in the 1999 murder conviction of Timothy Masters in Larimer County. The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported that the dismissed indictment essentially accused Broderick of making up much of the case against Masters.
Masters was convicted of killing Peggy Hettrick, of Fort Collins, but was released from prison in 2008 when new DNA testing led to his conviction being overturned.
Weld County district attorney Ken Buck said he’s reviewing the judge’s order and will pursue another indictment against Broderick “if legally appropriate.” Buck was asked to investigate the case because of a possible conflict of interest with prosecutors and judges in Larimer County.
Fort Collins and Larimer County agreed to pay Masters a total of $10 million to settle lawsuits alleging officials ignored, withheld or destroyed evidence pointing to his innocence.
In November, voters ousted two judges who were the prosecutors in the Masters’ case. The former prosecutors, Terry Gilmore and Jolene Blair, were censured in 2008 by the Colorado Supreme Court for failing to turn over information to Masters’ attorneys. The two have defended their handling of the case.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)