A documentary coming out Sunday on Starz will examine the cases of three men who say they are innocent of the murders they were convicted of, including one from Idaho Falls who spent almost half his life in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit.
“Wrong Man,” by Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger, looks at the story of Christopher Tapp, who was jailed in 1996, charged with the rape and murder of Angie Dodge.
As well as Tapp, it examines the cases of Evaristo Salas, who was convicted when he was 16 of murder in Washington state and sentenced as an adult to 33 years in prison; and Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times in Mississippi for a 1996 quadruple homicide. Both Salas and Flowers are still in prison; Flowers has been sentenced to death.
In the series civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby, retired Naval Criminal Investigate Service investigator Joe Kennedy, defense attorney Sue-Ann Robinson and homicide investigator Ira Lee Todd Jr. team up to take a fresh look at the three cases. The six-episode documentary series debuts at 7 p.m. Sunday on Starz. The first two episodes will deal with Salas’ case, the middle two with Flowers’ case, while the last two will focus on Tapp.
Tapp confessed to police at the time, but has said he did so under duress and wasn’t involved in the crime, and Tapp’s DNA does not match the DNA that was found at the crime scene. He was sentenced to 30 years to life. Carol Dodge, Angie’s mother, became convinced that Tapp was innocent and worked to secure his release. Groups such as Judges for Justice, the Center for Wrongful Convictions, the Idaho Innocence Project and the New York Innocence Project joined with Tapp’s lawyer, John Thomas, on his appeal to get his conviction overturned.
Tapp was freed in March 2017 when his lawyer reached a deal with the prosecution. While the murder conviction is still on Tapp’s record — although Tapp maintains his innocence — the rape conviction was thrown out and he was resentenced to time served, freeing him after about two decades behind bars and 10 years before he would have been eligible for parole.
Reporter Nathan Brown can be reached at 208-542-6757. Follow him on Twitter: @NateBrownNews.