Man 9,5 years in prison turns out to be innocent.

    BUENA VISTA – Tim Masters, in his first and only television interview since getting word that a special prosecutor was going to recommend his release, told 9Wants to Know's Paula Woodward that what happened really hasn't hit him.

    Tim Masters was convicted of the murder and sexual mutilation of Peggy Hettrick in Fort Collins. Masters was 15 years old at the time of the 1987 killing and there was no physical evidence tying him to the crime.

    Adams County District Attorney Don Quick, the special prosecutor, said Friday that Masters should be released because the Colorado Bureau of Investigation has found the DNA of an alternate suspect on her clothing. The alternate suspect is Hettrick's former boyfriend. Click here to learn more.

    One of Masters' attorneys, Maria Liu, said, "He didn't have to spend nine and a half years in prison, if the prosecutors upheld their ethical obligation. He was convicted because he was framed. He was framed."

    9Wants to Know has been following the Tim Masters case behind the scenes with Masters and his attorneys since May 2007. Masters, who is being held at the Buena Vista Correctional Facility, granted two interviews Saturday - to 9NEWS and The Denver Post. Click here to watch the interview.

    Masters told Paula he feels like he's in the "twilight zone" and that what has unfolded over the last 24 hours probably won't sink in until "the door hits me in the butt for the final time on the way out." That will most likely happen Tuesday morning after he appears in Larimer County Court.

    This is the only time a Department of Corrections spokeswoman can recall a time that an inmate who has been in the system this long has been released.

    "Have you made any plans?" Paula asked Masters.

    "No, I haven't made any plans," he responded.

    Masters described himself as a "hopeful pessimist."

    "Well, I've always had hope. I've been pessimistic at the same time though. Hope for the best. Expect the worst," he said.

    He does have some feelings of anger of the time he has lost.

    "Ten years of my life's been here," Masters said.

    Masters says it will be an adjustment to experience developments he has missed in the last nine and a half years, such as cell phones.

    "I was locked up before 9/11, so what's it like to travel now? I don't know. How hard is it to get a driver's license this day and age?" Masters said.

    "I was wondering how much things cost right now," he continued. "How much, how hard is it going to be to make a living? When I got locked up, gas was $1.10 a gallon. Now, it's 3-something a gallon."

    Masters says what he wants most is to be back with his family. He has 12 aunts and uncles, a sister, two nephews and a niece.

    "I couldn't have done it if I didn't have such a supportive family out there. They kept me going through all the dark days," Masters said.

    Paula says Saturday was the first time since she started covering this story that she has seen Masters laugh or smile.

    "I've never had a reason to laugh," he said. Click here to read Paula's reflections on the interview.

    Click here to read Part 1 of Paula's investigation: Is an innocent man serving a life sentence?

    Click here to read Part 2 of Paula's investigation.

    To read more about this case, check out the Tim Masters section.
  2. This is so very sad, but unfortunately this is an all-too-common occurance. This is also one reason why I don't believe in the death penalty: too many people incarcerated or on death row for crimes they didn't even commit.

    This man seems to be taking it very well, too...if it were me I'd be way beyond POd. This is too horrible and tragic, and I hope that he will be able to pick up the remnants of his life and move forward. And I hope he sues and gets a lot of money out of this. The state totally owes him.

    The horror!
  3. Horrible & happens way too often. I also hope this man can sue & get some compensation, the sad thing is noone can ever give him back those 9.5 years!
    I too would be incedibly angry if it were me, I would freak! Just imagine being imprisoned for almost 10 years for something you didn't do! & worse still innocent people have gone to their death!
  4. I find it amazing the way he got convicted in the first place, based on such little real proof (the pictures he had drawn).
  5. Argh I hate when stuff like this happens!
  6. I live in CO and this story is huge right now. I cannot believe this guy was even convicted in the first place, heck he never should have been charged with anything in the first place. I feel horrible he lost the last 9 and 1/2 years of his life. I hope he sues the crap outta the state!
  7. This is not rare at all. I think the latest inmate that was discovered to be innocent in Canada was wrongfully incarcerated for over 20 years. He currently holds the record in the nation for longest imprisonment of the wrongfully accused.
  8. Sad that this kind of thing happens a lot. No amount of money and make up for 10 years!
  9. Was this the guy that got convicted bc of his drawings? I think I saw this on a&e the other day..
  10. Yes that was him... What I find so problematic in this case that in fact if you look at the case to begin with they didn't had much 'proof' but the drawings... they never even looked further to other people who could have done it. It is scary...
  11. Even though his drawings were WEIRD, they sure did not have any evidence..I think that's what wrong with *some* police/det. today is that they want to solve a case so badly that they will incarcerate[sp?] the wrong people just to have the case closed.
  12. This is so terribly sad. I really hope, after this he will get his fair chance in life (get a job, driving licence, buy a house.. that sort of thing) with a clean record. He was wrongly treated and they basically rob him the chance to be a person that he wants to be for 10yrs!
  13. I am glad that they discovered the truth, but how sad that this happened to him in the first place! He should be compensated most definitely!
  14. i remember hearing a story about someone i think here in az that was wrongfully accused and he got at least a million dollars i believe, but i dont think that could ever make up for all the time he had lost being locked up!