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Idaho man arrested for the 1996 rape, murder, and that took another man to 20 years in prison

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An Idaho man was arrested this week for the brutal 1996 rape and murder of an Idaho Falls woman — a murder for which another man spent 20 years in prison.

Brian Leigh Dripps Sr., 53, was Wednesday arrested on a first degree murder charge for the June 1996 rape and murder of the 18-year-old Angie Dodge, the Idaho Falls Police Department said during a press conference on Thursday.

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By using the process of genetic genealogy, Police chief Bryce Johnson said that the DNA of the original scene of the crime matched Dripps DNA. He also said Dripps had confessed to both the rape and the murder, in a subsequent interview.

Brian Leigh Dripps Sr., 53, was Wednesday arrested on a first degree murder charge for the June 1996 rape and murder of the 18-year-old Angie Dodge.
(Canyon County Sheriff’s Office)

Dodge was found murdered in her Idaho Falls apartment on June 13, 1996 at around 11 a.m. Authorities said that they had been raped before the killer slit her throat. Dripps lived right across the street from her at the time of the murder.

Christopher Tapp was arrested and convicted in the case, but his lawyer claimed that the police forced a confession from him, the Idaho Statesman reported. He spent 20 years in prison for rape and his conviction was destroyed, with the help of the Idaho Innocence Project. The murder conviction was never destroyed, despite his release.

Johnson said on Thursday at the press conference that he would not note on as any other person who was involved in the murder, but he said that that information would be made available in the coming weeks.

“Today is about Angie…that is what we are focused on today.”

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The police says Dripps had no record at the time of the first murder, but that he had several misdemeanor charges in the years in between.

The police said that he is also facing a rape charge. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

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