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Former wrestler arrested for murder of man wrongly imprisoned

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A retired professional wrestler and former congressional candidate, Daniel Rodimer, surrendered to authorities in Nevada on Wednesday following a warrant for his arrest in connection with the death of Chris Tapp, who was wrongly imprisoned for a cold-case killing.

Tapp, who spent two decades behind bars for a crime he did not commit, succumbed to a head injury last year at a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department issued a warrant for the arrest of 45-year-old Rodimer on a charge of open murder in Tapp’s death. Tapp, 47, was discovered at the hotel and taken to a hospital on October 29, where he later passed away. Rodimer’s legal team, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, confirmed his voluntary surrender and stated his intention to contest the allegations, emphasizing the presumption of innocence.

Authorities initiated a suspicious death investigation after receiving new information about Tapp’s injuries, ultimately ruling his death a homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head. The arrest warrant alleges that an altercation ensued between Rodimer and Tapp after Tapp offered cocaine to Rodimer’s stepdaughter. Witnesses reported hearing Rodimer issue a threat to Tapp before loud banging noises were heard.

Rodimer, a Republican who ran for Congress in 2020, had ties to Tapp through the classic car and racing circuit. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Rodimer during his 2020 campaign, but Rodimer ultimately lost to Democratic Rep. Susie Lee. He later participated in a special congressional election in Texas in 2021 but garnered less than 3% of the vote.

Meanwhile, Chris Tapp’s case garnered national attention after spending years in prison for the 1996 rape and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. Despite DNA evidence excluding him, Tapp was convicted, and his murder conviction was vacated in 2019. Tapp maintained his innocence, alleging his confession was coerced by law enforcement. His wrongful imprisonment underscored flaws in the criminal justice system, prompting calls for reform.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the case highlights the complexities surrounding justice and accountability, intertwining the lives of individuals from disparate backgrounds in a tragic and consequential manner.

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