West Memphis 3 Rule 37 Hearing Resumes

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback


Monday, two of the convicted killers of the West Memphis 3 Were in a Region Eight Courtroom.

A rule 37 hearing is underway for Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin.

What the rule 37 hearing will decide is whether or not Misskelley and Baldwin received adequate defense at their original trial in 94.

With retired judge David Burnett presiding, the hearings resumed Monday morning at the Craighead County Court Annex.

Lisa Fancher is a member of the West Memphis 3 Support Fund.

She traveled all the way from California to attend this week's hearings.

Fancher says she doubts the original coroners statements "Absolutely nothing that was put forth at the trial by the state actually happened to those boys."

Baldwin and Misskelley were convicted with Damien Echols of the 19-93 murders of three West Memphis boys-- Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore.

On Monday Doctor Werner Spitz took the stand. Spitz is a retired Forensics Pathologist from Detroit. The focus of his testimony-- forensics.

After reviewing autopsy photos and documentation presented at the original trial, Dr. Spitz addressed evidence that the original verdict was based on.

Fancher, "The premise of the trial was that the children were grabbed by the WM3, tackled down, sexually assaulted and then they were stabbed to death."

From the stand Dr. Spitz told the court that no evidence he could see from the photos supported those claims.

Basically he said nearly all the external marks on the boys were caused by "animal predetation" such as bites from dogs, or water animals.

In his opinion, Dr. Spitz said, "all three died of drowning". Spitz said there was no evidence that a knife was used on the boys.

According to Fancher more experts are slated to take the stand this week.

"This week the most qualified forensic experts in the county such as Dr. Baden, Dr. Ah Poven, Dr. Richard Suveron are going to come out here and testify. "

The hearing should last the rest of the week possibly into next week.

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