Damien Echols Loses Another Round Before High Court - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Damien Echols Loses Another Round Before High Court

October 30, 2003 - Posted at 11:57 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Supreme Court today turned down another attempt by convicted child killer Damien Echols to avoid execution.

The high court rejected Echols' argument that he deserved a new trial because the lawyers who represented him were ineffective.  Two weeks ago, the court ruled against Echols' arguments that he should be allowed a hearing to determine his mental competence.

In today's unanimous decision, the court ruled that Echols' former lawyer, Val Price of Jonesboro, did not have a conflict of interest.  Price allowed a film crew for HBO to record a documentary featuring interviews from Echols during his trial in the deaths of three West Memphis boys.

Echols was one of three teenagers convicted of killing three second-graders in 1993.  Echols was sentenced to death; his two co-defendants received prison terms.

Steven Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers, all eight years old, disappeared May 5, 1993, while riding bicycles in their quiet, tree-lined neighborhood in West Memphis.  Their bodies were found the next day in a watery ditch near their homes.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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