Murder victim's stepdad told to pay legal costs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge says the stepfather of one of three young boys slain in West Memphis in 1993 must pay the legal costs of a member of the Dixie Chicks singing group whom he sued for defamation.

Terry Hobbs, stepfather of slaying victim Stevie Branch, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller to pay $17,590 to a Natalie Pasdar, known as Natalie Maines in her role as a member of the Dixie Chicks. In December, Miller dismissed a suit Hobbs filed against Maines over remarks she made at a rally.

The judge said Hobbs had voluntarily injected himself into a public controversy over whether three teenagers convicted of killing the three 8-year-old boys - called by their supporters the West Memphis 3 - had been wrongfully convicted.

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