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SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2007

Dr. David Tipton, husband of murder victim Karen Tipton, with police outside the scene of the crime, the Tipton home at 2330 Chapel Hill Road S.W. in March 1999.
Daily file photo
Dr. David Tipton, husband of murder victim Karen Tipton, with police outside the scene of the crime, the Tipton home at 2330 Chapel Hill Road S.W. in March 1999.

The murder case that won’t go away
Monday to mark 8th anniversary of slaying of Decatur housewife

By Sheryl Marsh · 340-2437

Monday marks eight years since the stabbing of Karen Tipton, and the man once convicted of killing her continues to sit in the county jail awaiting a new trial.

A Morgan County jury convicted Daniel Wade Moore, 32, of capital murder in November 2002.

Then the case took a strange twist.

Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson sentenced him to death, but later overturned the conviction and sentence, and granted a new trial.

The state Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the judge’s ruling.

Then the judge dropped another bombshell in February 2005 when he dismissed the charges and freed Moore, citing double jeopardy as the reason. The appellate court disagreed, saying that Moore should have another trial but he should not go free.

Moore went back to jail and Thompson recently scheduled a second trial for July 30.

Assistant Attorney General Don Valeska says DNA evidence will get Moore convicted again.

Moore’s attorney, Sherman Powell Jr., said he’s seeking new evidence to present for the second trial. He said that evidence is a 933-page FBI report.

“We’ve requested the entire FBI file because we know Valeska was aware of it before the trial,” said Powell. “That’s why he continues to ask the court to quash the FBI file that he has access to and we don’t. Hopefully, we’ll be able to present the true evidence, if they ever give it to us.”

Valeska says there will be no new evidence, and he’s not trying to hide anything.

“There will not be one new piece of evidence presented by the defense,” Valeska said. “Nothing shows that anybody other than Daniel Wade Moore murdered Karen Tipton. We’re absolutely certain that we will get another conviction because of the DNA evidence.”

A forensics expert testified a hair found in the victim’s bed was consistent with Moore’s.

Assistant Attorney General Will Dill, co-prosecutor, shares Valeska’s confidence about the DNA evidence.

“He left his pubic hair in Mrs. Tipton’s bed with her body fluid on it,” said Dill. “That hair was collected the same day of the murder when no one knew who Daniel Moore was. That’s something the defense cannot explain, and that’s the whole reason for the smoke screen that we’re hiding evidence.”

Powell maintains that Valeska has not shared all information to which the defense is entitled. He said that’s why he subpoenaed Valeska and the Decatur Police Department, asking for additional documents.

Valeska filed a motion asking that the subpoenas be quashed because the state has asked Thompson to recuse himself. Valeska said the judge cannot make rulings in the case because the recusal issue is pending in the appellate court.

Powell filed a motion objecting to Valeska’s motion and stating that the prosecutor is suppressing evidence.

“The prosecution is again attempting to delay the deliverance of material that was ordered to be delivered to the defendant 51/2 years ago, Powell states in the motion.

Valeska gave Powell a 245-page FBI report seven months after Moore’s trial in 2002. The report contained mostly victimology reports of people, including family members, who knew the victim.

He said it’s unclear what additional pages Powell is seeking.

The case drew national media attention and local public interest is still phenomenal. CBS’ “48 Hours Investigates” aired a segment on the murder twice.

“There is no other explanation for Daniel Moore’s DNA being in Mrs. Tipton’s bed except his guilt,” said Dill. “When the jury hears that, just like the first jury they will convict.”

Powell hopes for a different verdict.

“We’re gearing up for the new trial and we’re hopeful that the jury will see that Daniel did not commit this crime,” Powell said.

Someone stabbed Tipton multiple times and slashed her throat.

She was 39, a psychiatrist’s wife and mother of two.

The victim’s widower and children moved to another state.

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