Thanks to DNA testing. Just a short time ago, many remember the details vividly that were linked to Tim Masters, who served nine years of a life sentence in prison after being arrested on counts of murder regarding the death of Peggy Hettrick. As of recent, the city and county have paid Masters $10 million in order to attempt at settling a civil rights lawsuit that relates to his past conviction. When the investigation began in 1987, the Fort Collins police labeled Masters (age 15 at the time) as a key suspect in the case when Hettrick’s body was discovered in a field near the Masters home, which he shared with his father. Masters was convicted twelve years later on counts of circumstantial evidence and testimony from an expert witness who claimed Masters fit the profile of a sexual predator. Then in 2008, the case started looking up for Masters, who was released from prison in 2008 after he was cleared of the crime through DNA evidence. The crime still remains unsolved. “It’s been almost two years since the Colorado Supreme Court censured Judges Jolene Blair and Terry Gilmore, then-prosecutors in Maters’ 1999 trial, for their handling of the case.” “No Fort Collins police officers have been disciplined, and a 2008 inquiry into the actions of Lt. Jim Broderick, one of the lead investigators, found no criminal wrongdoing.
A new investigation of the case is being conducted by Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who was appointed as a special prosecutor in the 2008 investigation, has now alleged that there is an eight-count felony perjury indictment against Broderick. If Broderick is in fact convicted, he could face 50 years jail time as well as many millions of dollars in fines. Allegations against Broderick state that he intentionally made false statements in Masters’ arrest warrant application, at his preliminary hearing and at his trial. In Broderick’s interview with CNN in 2007, prior to the DNA testing of Masters, he declines allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct but said he stood by his investigation. Broderick has stated that he welcomes any new evidence in the case. As for Masters, He stated that he is just “pleased to see a glimmer of hope that the man most directly responsible for his wrongful incarceration might be held accountable for his actions to some extent”.