DNA frees convicted murderer
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 2:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 2:17 p.m.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - A judge on Tuesday ordered the release of a man convicted of murder after DNA evidence pointed to another suspect.
Timothy Masters, 35, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1999, was ordered freed on a personal recognizance bond. Prosecutors promised to decide quickly whether to try him again.
New tests announced last week showed DNA found on the victim's clothing was not from Masters but from someone else.
Applause broke out in the courtroom as the hearing ended, but Masters showed little emotion as he hugged members of his defense team.
In 1987, the manager at a woman's clothing store was found stabbed and sexually mutilated in a field south of Fort Collins, but police investigated for more than a decade before arresting Masters. He was 15 at the time the woman died and lived near the field where her body was found.
Masters' new attorneys have said detectives wrongly focused on Masters instead of other suspects.
During recent appeals, both the defense and special prosecutors assigned to the case said crucial information was withheld from Masters' trial lawyers.
About 50 people packed the small courtroom Tuesday morning.
"It's (like) saying there was a death, and all of a sudden, it turns out he is alive again," said Master's uncle, John Masters.
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