Brian Dripps, 55, is the suspected killer of 18-year-old Angie Dodge, who was found dead on June 13, 1996. Dripps is in jail in Idaho awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty last month to charges of first-degree murder and rape. Dripps was connected to the case through DNA evidence in 2019 and eventually confessed to killing Dodge, but only after another man, Christopher Tapp, spent 20 years in prison for Dripps’ crimes. In 1998, Tapp was wrongfully convicted in Dodge’s rape and murder, and he was exonerated in 2019.
Dodge’s mother, Carol Dodge, was one of the biggest advocates for justice for her daughter. She believed the wrong man was behind bars when Tapp was arrested. ABC’s 20/20 dug into the ongoing court case on a new episode, which aired Friday, March 12.
Here’s what you need to know:
Dripps Said He Was Planning to Rape Dodge But Didn’t Mean to Kill Her & Doesn’t Remember Cutting Her Throat
Dripps appeared in court in February 2021, where he pleaded guilty but said he did not mean to murder Dodge. He said he planned to rape her and that he was high and drunk, according to East Idaho News.
“All I really know is I went over there with the intent to rape her. I was pretty high on cocaine and alcohol,” Dripps said in court. “I had a pocket knife with me. … I didn’t mean to murder her. I guess it just happened when I was there. I remember the rape part. … That’s all I remember of that evening.”
Dodge’s throat was slit, and Dripps said he did not remember cutting her throat. He also did not deny doing it.
Journalists described Carol Dodge as “a force of nature” in interviews with 20/20. The mom conducted her own investigation, which proved dangerous. She once had someone pull a gun on her.
“I lived out on the streets. I’d go home 3, 4, 5 o’clock in the morning,” she said on the show.
Dripps Pleaded Guilty in Exchange for a 20-Year Sentence & Remains in the Bonneville County Jail Awaiting Sentencing
Dodge was a neighbor of Dripps. She was found dead in her apartment when she failed to show up at work and two coworkers went to check on her. Police determined she died that morning. DNA was collected from Dodge’s body, but police could not pinpoint a suspect for months. Dripps was charged following the exoneration of Tapp, when Dripps was identified as the most likely suspect in the case after DNA was matched to the profile police collected at the time of the murder.
Dripps was arrested May 15, 2019. He confessed to the crimes under police questioning, according to East Idaho News. He agreed to a plea bargain last month, and will likely be sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is incarcerated at the Bonneville County Jail, according to the jail’s inmate list.
Here is his prison record:
Dripps’ sentencing is scheduled for April 27.