Brian Dripps has been sentenced to life in prison for the cold case murder and rape of Angie Dodge.
Dodge, 18, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her Idaho Falls apartment in June of 1996. Dripps’ arrest did not come until 2019 after a wrongfully convicted man, Christopher Tapp, spent twenty years in prison. DNA evidence collected from the crime scene was tested in 2016 and showed Tapp’s genetic material was not present, according to The Idaho Statesman.
Tapp was released from prison in 2017 on a deal with prosecutors, and then was exonerated in July of 2019.
Dripps’ was arrested after Idaho Falls police found that his DNA sample matched the evidence taken from the crime scene, according to The Idaho Statesman. In October 2019, prosecutors announced their intent to seek the death penalty against Dripps.
Dripps appeared in a Booneville County courtroom on June 8 for a hearing months after he plead guilty to the crime as part of a plea deal. In return for pleading guilty to first-degree murder and rape, prosecutors dropped their pursuit of the death penalty, and instead requested that Dripps spend the rest of his life in prison.
According to The Idaho Statesman, Judge Joel Tingey followed the recommendation in the plea agreement.
“A young man spent a significant part of his life in prison for no good reason. He was innocent. That falls on you,” said Tingey in the court room.
Dripps was transferred to the Idaho Department of Corrections to begin his prison sentence. He apologized in court to Dodge’s family members, said The Idaho Statesman.
According to East Idaho News, when Dripps plead guilty to the crimes in February, he described being on cocaine and alcohol when he went into Dodge’s apartment intending to rape her. He said he had a pocketknife, but did not intend to murder her. Dripps said “it just happened.” He said he did not remember slitting her throat, but also did not deny it happened.
The Idaho Falls Police Department said in a statement on June 8 how they appreciate the work of the Attorney General’s Office, Capt. Bill Squires, Capt. Joel Tisdale, Lt. John Marley, Det. Sage Albright, Det. Jeff Pratt, Sgt. Josh Deede and many others.