New DNA Evidence Might Free West Memphis Three - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

New DNA Evidence Might Free West Memphis Three

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A lawyer for one of the men convicted in the 1993 slayings of three boys in West Memphis says DNA evidence gathered after the killings does not match the three teens imprisoned for the crimes.

Dennis P. Riordan, a San Francisco attorney representing Damien Echols, says the findings should exonerate the three men known by sympathizers as the "West Memphis Three."

Riordan's findings yesterday in federal court claim Bode Technology, a private laboratory in Virginia, tested evidence collected on swabs, under fingernails and clothing from 8-year-old victims Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore.  The company handled DNA testing on bone fragments found in rubble at the World Trade Center after the September 11 terror attacks.

A report from the lab included the filing shows much of the evidence failed to yield reportable results.  However, on evidence able to be tested, the lab found no traces of Echols or co-defendants Jason Baldwin or Jessie Misskelly.

Echols, now 32-years-old, is on death row.  Baldwin and Misskelly received life sentences.

All three of those convicted were teenagers at the time of the killings.  The victims disappeared while riding bicycles in their quiet, tree-lined neighborhood in West Memphis, and their bodies were found the next day in a watery ditch near their homes.

In 2002, the state Supreme Court authorized further DNA testing in the case.

In 2005, the high court rejected an effort by Echols to reopen the case so he could argue that his trial lawyers mishandled his defense.  In that ruling, the Supreme Court also urged those involved in the case to wrap up the genetic testing authorized three years earlier.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Walnut Ridge Police Chief, officer on administrative leave

    Walnut Ridge Police Chief, officer on administrative leave

    Friday, April 20 2018 10:03 PM EDT2018-04-21 02:03:48 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:16 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:16:02 GMT

    According to Walnut Ridge City Attorney Nancy L. Hall, Walnut Ridge Police Chief Chris Kirksey and Sgt. Matt Cook have been placed on administrative leave. 

    According to Walnut Ridge City Attorney Nancy L. Hall, Walnut Ridge Police Chief Chris Kirksey and Sgt. Matt Cook have been placed on administrative leave. 

  • Manila turns up the heat for first ever event

    Manila turns up the heat for first ever event

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:11 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:11:59 GMT
    Twelve BBQ groups are lined up to cook for the competition. (Source: Blaz'in BBQ Festival)Twelve BBQ groups are lined up to cook for the competition. (Source: Blaz'in BBQ Festival)
    Twelve BBQ groups are lined up to cook for the competition. (Source: Blaz'in BBQ Festival)Twelve BBQ groups are lined up to cook for the competition. (Source: Blaz'in BBQ Festival)

    Blaz'in BBQ Festival creates excitement for the town of Manila, as orchestrated by the organization, "Moving Manila Forward." 

    Blaz'in BBQ Festival creates excitement for the town of Manila, as orchestrated by the organization, "Moving Manila Forward." 

  • Gov. Greitens denies wrongdoing after felony charges filed over charity donor list use

    Gov. Greitens denies wrongdoing after felony charges filed over charity donor list use

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:03 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:03:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has been charged with felony computer tampering.

    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has been charged with felony computer tampering.

Powered by Frankly