Judge decides no new trial in West Memphis 3 killings - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Judge decides no new trial in West Memphis 3 killings

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Two men convicted of killing 3 West Memphis boys will not receive a new trial. Pam Hobbs, mother of Stevie Branch, one of the boys killed, said she was not happy with the ruling.

"They're never going to admit that they did not do a thorough investigation and they convicted three men with circumstantial evidence," said Hobbs.

Judge David Burnett turned in his ruling Wednesday morning at the Craighead County Courthouse. Several claims by defense attorneys were not reviewable in Rule 37 proceedings, according to court documents.

"If these guys did it, give them a fair trial. They will be convicted again. They were convicted on circumstantial evidence because they were three poor teenagers that did not have the representation that they've got today," said Hobbs.

Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly are both serving life sentences for the 1993 killing of three West Memphis boys. The two men claimed they received inadequate counsel during their previous trial and requested a new trial.

"I feel like they were railroaded. Of course, I said too that these three guys were guilty. I called them and for years I thought they were because I wanted to believe in my justice system, but first the justice system failed me," said Hobbs.

Hobbs said police officers did not search for her child when she reported him missing. She said she wanted to believe Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin were guilty.

"I believe the justice system has failed me and I'm not happy with the verdicts or anything," said Hobbs. "I would like for my little boy to be able to rest and for me to be able to get some rest. If these three men be not guilty, let them go home. They have spent enough time for something they didn't do."

The men and their attorneys claimed new DNA evidence not available in 1993 helped prove their innocence. 

A third man Damien Echols is on death-row for the killings.  Echols' appeal for a new trial was dismissed last year.  Much of Echols' request for a new trial also centered on inadequate counsel and new DNA evidence.

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