Former WWE wrestler and Congressional candidate, Daniel Rodime turns himself in on murder charge in Las Vegas after man was found dead in Resorts World hotel room

March 7th, 2024


Former WWE wrestler and Congressional candidate, Daniel Rodime turns himself in on murder charge in Las Vegas after man was found dead in Resorts World hotel room

An ex-GOP Congressional candidate and former WWE wrestler has handed himself in on a murder charge in Las Vegas after a man was found dead in a hotel room.

 

 

Daniel Rodimer, 45, has been accused of the murder of Christopher Tapp, 47, which took place on October 29 last year.

 

 

Tapp was a recently exonerated man who had served 20 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of killing his friend in 1996.

 

Former WWE wrestler and Congressional candidate, Daniel Rodime turns himself in on murder charge in Las Vegas after man was found dead in Resorts World hotel room

 

His death at a Resorts World suite was initially ruled as an accident, but the Clark County Coroner’s Office later determined it a homicide after discovering ‘blunt force trauma’ to his head.

 

 

Now Rodimer, a married father-of-six, turned himself into Clark County Detention Center on Wednesday night. Lawyers for the accused said he ‘vigorously contests’ the allegations, 8News Now reports.

Former WWE wrestler and Congressional candidate, Daniel Rodime turns himself in on murder charge in Las Vegas after man was found dead in Resorts World hotel room

 

Police said that Tapp had been involved in an ‘altercation’ prior to his death.

 

 

Rodimer became a wrestler after winning the 2004 WWE’s Tough Enough contest, eventually going on to wrestle on its RAW brand under the name Dan Rodimer.

 

 

In 2020, he challenged Democratic Rep. Susie Lee for her District 3 seat in Nevada and lost by 13,000 votes.

 

 

He later moved to Texas to run as a Republican in the District 6 special election with the slogan, ‘Vote Big Dan’, where he was thrashed once again gaining just over 2,000 votes, equal to 2.7 percent of the ballot.

 

Former WWE wrestler and Congressional candidate, Daniel Rodime turns himself in on murder charge in Las Vegas after man was found dead in Resorts World hotel room

He also drew the ire of Donald Trump’s team after branding himself as the ‘Trump candidate’ and falsely claiming he had received the current presidential hopeful’s endorsement. 

 

 

Tapp died not long after he was freed from prison where he was serving time for the wrongful conviction of the rape and murder of his friend 18-year-old Angie Doge in Idaho.

 

 

Tapp was charged in February 1997, roughly eight months after Dodge’s nearly decapitated body was discovered at her Idaho Falls apartment.

 

 

Tapp initially told investigators he had nothing to do with the crime, but after multiple interviews and a polygraph test, the then 20-year-old confessed to being involved and accused two others.

 

 

One of his friends was also charged, but this was later dismissed. Tapp was found guilty in 1998 and sentenced to 40 years.

 

 

However, he maintained he had only told police what they wanted to hear, and his case was eventually taken up by the Idaho Innocence Project.

Former WWE wrestler and Congressional candidate, Daniel Rodime turns himself in on murder charge in Las Vegas after man was found dead in Resorts World hotel room

 

Carol Doge, the victim’s mom, also did not believe Tapp was responsible after reviewing the video of his interrogation.

 

 

She was stunned to see police showing Tapp images of the crime scene after he did not appear to have any knowledge of Dodge’s apartment.

 

 

Steve Drizin, a clinical professor of law at Northwestern University and co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, also reviewed the videos of the confession and told ‘Dateline’ it was the ‘worst example of police contamination’ and ‘fact-feeding’ he had ever seen.

 

 

In 2017, Tapp’s lawyer successfully argued his client had been coerced and the prosecutor’s office agreed to vacate the conviction to time served, however, this still left him with the guilty conviction.

 

 

‘That was one of the hardest decisions of my life, to continue to have to say I was convicted of a first-degree murder I know I didn’t do,’ Tapp told ‘Dateline.’ 

 

 

‘But I had to move on with my life. And that was the only opportunity I had so I took it with the best ability that I had.’ 

 

 

In 2019, he was fully exonerated after DNA evidence linked Dodge’s neighbor Brian Dripps to the scene and he was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

 

 

Since returning to normal life Tapp had got married, bought a home and found work at a factory.

 

 

He was also pressuring officials to sign legislation guaranteeing compensation for the wrongfully convicted.

 

 

In 2021 the bill became law. Today wrongfully incarcerated people are given $62,000 for each year inside and $75,000 annually for those on death row.

 


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