Detective re-indicted in Masters' case for perjury

8:47 AM, Jul 29, 2011   |    comments
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Lt. Jim Broderick was indicted Thursday on nine counts of perjury. Broderick faces up to six years in prison for each count if he's convicted.

9Wants to Know has learned Tim Masters and his attorney Maria Liu testified before the grand jury earlier this week.

Broderick has been on paid leave, earning $104,000 a year, since he was first indicted last year. Fort Collins has spent $400,000 to date to defend him against criminal charges, according to an attorney.

On July 1, 2010, a Larimer County grand jury handed up eight perjury counts against Broderick. But on May 9, 2011, the Chief Weld County court judge dismissed all of the counts against him on a technicality based on the statute of limitations. Prosecutors had failed to cite when the alleged perjury was discovered, which would have fallen within the statute of limitations.

At the time, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck said he would evaluate getting a superseding indictment. A superseding indictment is one that's file after an original indictment, based on events that changed the nature of the original indictment.

In 1999, Masters was wrongfully convicted of stabbing Peggy Hettrick to death in 1987 when he was 15 years old. He lived in a trailer with his dad next to the field where Hettrick was found and had seen her body on the way to school but didn't report it. Despite the lack of any physical evidence to tie him to the crime, a team of police officers led by Lt. Broderick pursued Masters as the sole suspect and they arrested him in 1997. He was sentenced for first-degree murder. Appeals all the way up to the Supreme Court were unsuccessful. Masters lived behind bars 12 years an innocent man.

He was released from prison in 2008 after new DNA test results matched another suspect. Masters sued for wrongful conviction and won about $10 million from Fort Collins and Larimer County.

In November 2010, Masters successfully helped campaign to unseat Larimer County District Court judges Jolene Blair and Terrence Gilmore, who, as former Larimer deputy district attorneys, prosecuted him in 1999.

On June 28, a state grand jury cleared Masters of the crime and Attorney General John Suthers apologized.

Meanwhile, Suthers' team of investigators has been working the case non-stop to find the real killer. Suthers said the state grand jury heard evidence about the case for the past year.

If you have any story tips or leads, please e-mail Investigative Reporter Deborah Sherman at

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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