Dripps said he killed Angie Dodge alone
A probable cause affidavit from Brian Dripp’s murder case records states he told Detective Sage Albright he killed Angie Dodge by himself.
“He confirmed that he entered Dodge’s apartment by himself with a knife with the intent to rape her, that he did in fact rape her, that he held a knife to her throat during the commission of the rape, and had cut her throat,” Albright wrote in his affidavit.
The five-page affidavit gives a brief summary of the investigation, noting that Christopher Tapp gave several names when questioned by police in 1997. None of the names led to an arrest, and none of them were Brian Leigh Dripps.
Tapp was convicted in 1998 after he told police he held Dodge down while another man raped and murdered her. Tapp spent 20 years in prison until Public Defender John Thomas presented evidence his confession was coerced.
A 2014 investigation by Judges for Justice, a national nonprofit that investigates suspected false convictions, found that Tapp’s confession was demonstrably false — obtained by threats of life imprisonment or death, and with promises of immunity — and that the physical evidence in the case did not match detectives’ conclusions.
Dripps, who lived across the street from Dodge when she was killed, was interviewed by police five days after the murder. He told police he came home from drinking at 11:30 p.m. Dripps said he left again at an unspecified time and returned at 3 a.m., but said was too drunk to remember if he had seen vehicles in the area.
Dripps initially denied killing Dodge until he was confronted with evidence his DNA matched that at the crime scene. Dripps said he only intended to rape Dodge, and that he believes she was still alive when he left her apartment.
Dripps has been charged with first-degree murder, punishable with a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to a life sentence, or the death penalty. He was also charged with rape, punishable with up to life in prison.