A DOCTOR'S WIFE IS MURDERED AND FOR TEN YEARS A YOUNG MAN'S LIFE HANGS IN THE BALANCE, IN A LEGAL BATTLE THAT PUTS JUSTICE ON TRIAL-- CBS NEWS' "48 HOURS MYSTERY" ON SATURDAY, FEB. 20
In March 1999, Karen Tipton, a mother of two and the wife of psychiatrist Dr. David Tipton, was found stabbed 28 times in her Decatur, Ala., home. It is a case that has left many victims in its wake - two children forced to grow up without their mother, a husband who mourns his wife, a mother who stands by her son in his fight for freedom, and Daniel Wade Moore, whose life has hung in the balance of an unprecedented legal battle.
Moore, then a drug user, was only 24 when he was arrested for Tipton's murder after confessing to his uncle that he was at the scene of the crime. In a move that further convinced authorities of his guilt, Moore stabbed himself with a penknife during a break in police questioning.
Moore, however, says that he is not guilty, explaining that his confession was false, spurred on by his simple desire to fabricate a story so horrific that his family would leave him alone and he could return to his drug lifestyle. Investigators found this explanation hard to believe and despite questionable physical evidence, a jury agreed. Moore was sentenced to death for the murder of Karen Tipton. But this case was far from over.
While preparing his appeal, Moore's attorney uncovered an FBI report detailing what the bureau called Karen's "secret life" including extra-marital affairs. The FBI suggested investigating her husband's possible involvement in the crime. The defense accused prosecutors of purposefully hiding the report, which might have helped Moore. Two years after his death sentence, Moore's conviction was overturned.
"The lead prosecutor for the state stood in this courtroom and I'll quote him. He said �There ain't no such thing as an FBI report,'" says Judge Glenn Thompson who presided over Moore's first trial. "He looked me in the eye and said that. It infuriates me when someone lies to the court." The prosecutor claimed he hadn't lied because the FBI document wasn't a formal report.
Three years later, Moore went to trial for a second time. Hoping to see justice served, both sides were dealt a shocking blow when the second trial was declared a mistrial after the jury couldn't reach a verdict. Moore was freed on bond for the time being, but his fight was not over. After spending nearly a third of his life in limbo over these charges, Moore went on trial for a third time. And Dr. Tipton's life came under scrutiny as rumors swirled that he had killed his wife.
"Am I capable of killing somebody? Yup," Tipton tells correspondent Erin Moriarty. "Am I capable of torturing my wife to death? No."
Nevertheless, 12 jurors were about to seal Daniel Wade Moore's fate and bring Karen Tipton's murder case to an end. Would they send him back to death row? Or would they set him free?
Erin Moriarty reports on 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Lies and Whispers," Saturday, Feb. 20 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This broadcast is produced by Susan Mallie and Paul LaRosa. Peter Schweitzer is the senior producer and Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.
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