Lead Detective in Tim Masters Case Indicted for Perjury

Tim Masters was wrongfully convicted of first degree murder in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. The murder occurred when he was 15. He was charged in 1998. He was freed in 2008, after serving 10 years in prison, when DNA evidence was tested that excluded him and pointed to another suspect.

Today, the grand jury in Larimer County Colorado indicted the lead detective on his case, James Broderick, on eight counts of perjury. The Indictment is here. Broderick focused on Masters since 1987 when he first interviewed him, and never changed his mind. Prosecutors initially cleared him of misconduct (the current prosecutor said he was guilty of malfeasance, not misfeasance) but new evidence came to light suggesting Broderick lied about his involvement in the investigation, both in affidavits and on the witness stand.

DNA finally showed Masters was not guilty. At trial, there was no physical evidence linking Masters to the crime, and other evidence was withheld or destroyed. [More...]

The prosecutors used a so-called expert's psychological profile to convict him. The City of Fort Collins settled Tim's lawsuit for $5.9 million. Larimer County settled for $4.1 million.

Two of the prosecutors in Tim's case are now judges. They were censured for withholding exculpatory evidence, and face re-election this fall. (Evidence was also destroyed.)In the civil suit, one argued there was no harm in the fake evidence and both argued they were immune from liability. A chronology of the case is here.

David Lane, Master's attorney in the civil suits, recently had this to say:

"I hope Gilmore and Blair receive justice at the hands of the voters this November. And I hope Broderick receives some justice at the hands of the criminal justice system."

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  • Display: Sort:
    Was the the case where this (none / 0) (#1)
    by Untold Story on Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 09:29:22 PM EST
    15 year came upon the woman's body in a field on his way to school?  He thought it was a manniquin and didn't report it?

    Ok, so the question is (none / 0) (#2)
    by robotalk on Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 09:43:48 PM EST
    if a detective attempts to frame a guy for murder and murder is punishable by death in the state can the detective be charged with attempted first degree murder?  What do you say, professor(s)?

    I believe this is (none / 0) (#3)
    by JamesTX on Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 12:06:32 AM EST
    sort of unheard of, right? It is certainly good news, because they are never going to stop doing it, or even think about slowing down, unless someone has to pay the price. If there is no penalty for for falsely accusing people, and the worst case scenario is the prosecutor loses the case, then there is no deterrent of any kind for doing it. If there is no deterrent, then it just keeps getting worse, as it has for three decades. Good news.

    Unheard of is right... (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 09:22:34 AM EST
    I almost fell off my chair when I saw this post...a cop charged with perjury?  Shocker.

    It is good (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jen M on Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 06:00:21 AM EST
    that the detective is being held responsible.

    Now, about the prosecutors, why are they immune?

    In California, prosecutors have (none / 0) (#7)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 01:17:02 PM EST
    statutory immunity.  

    And since they do not testify in proceedings, they cannot be charged with perjury.

    Can't sue them, either--unlike the cops.

    Prosecutors have the easy side of things.  Most people believe them and that the defendant is always guilty.  They cannot be held accountable.


    Jesus (none / 0) (#5)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 08:58:52 AM EST
    Takes your breath away to think how often this must happen without our knowing anything of it. It's great news that the people who ruined Tim Master's life are finally being held accountable. As JamesTX said, they only stop when they know they may have to pay a price.