Lawyers: Tapp gets deal, will go free

RIGHT: Christopher Tapp reacts to his guilty verdict during his 1998 trial. Tapp was sentenced to 30 years for the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge. A deal has been reached to set Tapp free, officials on both sides of the deal said. Post Register file

Judges for Justice reports
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A deal has been reached in the Christopher Tapp case, officials on both sides of the deal said.

Tapp was convicted of the 1996 rape and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in 1997. He maintains his innocence.

Judge Alan Stephens has yet to sign off on the deal, officials said Monday evening. Both sides are expected to meet with Stephens on Tuesday, and a court hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday.

Public Defender John Thomas, Tapp’s attorney in several post-conviction relief actions, said Tapp won’t admit guilt as a part of the deal. He said he couldn’t disclose the full terms of the deal.

Thomas said if Stephens signs off, Tapp will be released from prison Wednesday. A hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Tapp has spent 20 years in prison for the 1996 murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. He was sentenced to life in prison, and he wasn’t due for his first parole hearing for 10 more years.

There are numerous DNA samples that were found at the crime scene, including semen which belongs to the killer. That DNA does not match Tapp and has never been matched to any known person.

Tapp’s deal comes just weeks before two scheduled evidentiary hearings where his defense was expected to call experts who would testify that his confession to the 1996 murder was contaminated by police and that the confession was the result of coercion.

A host of experts, including geneticists, false confession experts, former supervisory special agents and a polygraph experts have in recent years produced reports indicating that Tapp is innocent.

Read Tuesday’s Post Register for reaction from both Tapp’s mother, Vera, and Angie Dodge’s mother, Carol.

For more information on the Angie Dodge murder case go to

Reporter Bryan Clark can be reached at 542-6751.