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West Memphis 3


Dan Williams

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I know a few people on here have actually followed this as this is where I first heard of the case, and today there has been some pretty big news announced as it seems there re-trial may be starting tomorrow with all the new DNA evidence that pretty much excludes them from the murders, here is the full info that has been released today.

 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - An 18 year saga which began with the brutal slayings of three West Memphis 8-years olds could be headed toward a surprise ending. A special Friday morning hearing in Jonesboro will bring together families of the victims and the three convicted murderers, known as the West Memphis Three, for what could be an explosive resolution of the infamous case.

 

September 2010 may have marked the beginning of a major turning point in the iconic 18-year old triple murder case of the West Memphis Three for the deaths of Christopher Byers, Stevie Branch and Michael Moore. Arkansas Supreme Court judges surprisingly ordered an evidentiary hearing to determine if new DNA evidence and testimony might warrant new trials for convicted murderers Damien Wayne Echols, Charles Jason Baldwin and Jessie Lloyd Misskelly.

 

Justice and possible freedom might be at the top of the agenda on Friday when all three defendants, along with the families of the victims, will attend an expedited Circuit Court sessions in Jonesboro, presided over by Judge David Laser. While the judge has imposed a gag order on people directly involved with the case, FOX13 has learned the victims' families were contacted by the Crittenden County prosecutor's office which, along the presence of the defendants in court, might indicate a judicial resolution in the case has been struck.

 

The turn of events gained momentum this summer. In June, even before the contents of testing became available, the Arkansas Attorney General's office declared they would not fight DNA results. In July, testing indicated DNA at the murder scene did not match Echols or the other two defendants. A human hair that was discovered on one of the victim's blue jeans was not linked the trio nor was a small amount of human DNA found on a victim's shoe, indicating instead the DNA evidence belonged to two unidentified men.

 

In an exclusive FOX13 interview last December, Echols lashed out at what he charged was the state Attorney General's intransigence. "The Attorney General issued a statement after the rulings came down. And said it's his constitutional duty to defend those guilty verdicts, not to defend justice - to defend the guilty verdicts."

 

Late Thursday, the Arkansas Department of Corrections did confirm Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were ordered to take all their belongings with them to Crittenden County, at least for Friday's hearing. It all sets up for an explosive judicial session where justice, and possibly freedom, for the West Memphis Three could be on the line.

 

Echols seemed assured the truth would set him free. "If they actually took even half an hour, 30 minutes, to look at the evidence in this case, to look at what was and what was not introduced there, what was said, what the experts said, what the new evidence is now, then I don't think they feel that way anymore."

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I know a few people on here have actually followed this as this is where I first heard of the case, and today there has been some pretty big news announced as it seems there re-trial may be starting tomorrow with all the new DNA evidence that pretty much excludes them from the murders, here is the full info that has been released today.

Sources: All three will admit guilt to the crime and two will be released with time served

Steve Branch, the father of one of the victims, tells us Damien Echols will be one of the men released

(Memphis 8/18/2011) WREG-TV has learned an agreement has been reached to release two of the West Memphis 3.

 

Multiple sources, including the father of one of the victims, have confirmed this will be announced at a special hearing Frid

 

Steve Branch, father of WM3 victim Stevie Branch: "There's supposed to be a gag order on this but they're not going to gag me. They can put me in jail if they want to. I'll go to jail to stand up for my son's rights."

 

That hearing is scheduled to be held in Jonesboro, AR.

 

Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was sentenced to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences, and Jason Baldwin was sentenced to life imprisonment.

 

Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers were found murdered and mutilated in a wooded area in West Memphis, Arkansas in May 1993.

 

Recent tests on DNA evidence, including material from the crime scene, was found to not be a match to the defendants.

 

Many say Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were wrongly convicted because police needed a quick solution to the case.

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Sources: All three will admit guilt to the crime and two will be released with time served

Steve Branch, the father of one of the victims, tells us Damien Echols will be one of the men released

(Memphis 8/18/2011) WREG-TV has learned an agreement has been reached to release two of the West Memphis 3.

 

Multiple sources, including the father of one of the victims, have confirmed this will be announced at a special hearing Frid

 

Steve Branch, father of WM3 victim Stevie Branch: "There's supposed to be a gag order on this but they're not going to gag me. They can put me in jail if they want to. I'll go to jail to stand up for my son's rights."

 

That hearing is scheduled to be held in Jonesboro, AR.

 

Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was sentenced to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences, and Jason Baldwin was sentenced to life imprisonment.

 

Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers were found murdered and mutilated in a wooded area in West Memphis, Arkansas in May 1993.

 

Recent tests on DNA evidence, including material from the crime scene, was found to not be a match to the defendants.

 

Many say Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were wrongly convicted because police needed a quick solution to the case.

 

Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. have been taken from their cells in the Arkansas Department of Correction and are being transported to Jonesboro, for tomorrow

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Why would they admit guilt when they have spent 18 years professing their innocence and now have the evidence to prove it? That is the part I find strange also why would the one of the 2 released be the only one who got sentenced to death, seems a bit odd but if they are finally being released it seems that justice has been served its just a shame the guys lost so much of their lives over this, I'm guessing they will have some sort of shot at substantial compensation after all they have been through.

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Yeah, It also would greatly reduce the court costs for the accused as I know they were relying on donations and lawyers working pro bono. Its a shame that they will all be convicted murderers still and the real murderers will get away scott free with the crime they committed.

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Its also terrible in the fact that the real killer of those children will never be made to pay. I belive it was Terry Hobbs the stepfather of steve branch one of the children who were killed. His and a friend of his dna is the only dna to be found at the crime scene

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Yeah Terry Hobbs and his friend do seem to be the prime suspects for most people but there was also a hair fibre belonging to a Black Male found on one of the sheets used to wrap the bodies, and there was a black male seen the day of the crimes covered in blood and mud in a local restaurant, the main thing is it is clear that these 3 were never anything to do with the murders and the police took advantage of Misskelley who had learning difficulties and practically forced a confession/witness statement out of him. I can't help but think these are some messed up individuals having lost there entire teenage years, they will probably never really fully re-adjust back into normal society.

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It seems to me that they've been offered this plea bargain so that the evidence doesn't get re-examined, as with a more widespread interest, it would come under greater - less redneck, we don't like strangers round here, biased - scrutiny.

 

This is pretty much true. My wife has always been interested in this case and follows it with interest. Allot of the documentaries point a finger at the step dad and some of the things the local police missed was shocking, bite marks that don't match anyone of the WM3, while the step dad got ALL his teeth replaced like 3 days aprox after the date of the body's was found. While the documentaries always miss of the the hair belonging to a black male as that don't point the finger at the step dad and upsets the story.

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http://boingboing.net/2011/08/19/west-memp...ml?dlvrit=36761

 

The West Memphis Three have been released. Their support group, via Twitter, "Everyone's screaming in joy! It's done. 18 years too long... The convictions have been tossed out."

 

Early word from those in the courthouse indicate that all three took an Alford plea, under which the accused do not admit guilt, but acknowledge that the prosecution may have sufficient evidence to convict.

 

Had the case not taken this turn, Damien Echols, 36, was due to be executed by the state. Jessie Misskelley, 36, and Jason Baldwin, 34, were serving life terms.

 

Live here: http://www.wreg.com/

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