West Memphis Three case still continues to draw attention

UNDATED (KAIT) - It's a trial that has be going on for almost two decades, after the bodies of three eight-year-old boys were discovered mutilated in West Memphis. To this day, the West Memphis three case still continues to draw attention from the public. A lot's happened since 1993, so here's the break down of what's happened up to this point.

It was 1993 when the bodies of three West Memphis boys Michael Moore, Stevie Branch, and Christopher Byers were found hog tied and naked in a West Memphis ditch. Police arrested Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin.

The three went to trial in 1994. Misskelley was found guilty of first and second degree murder in the killings. Echols and Baldwin were found guilty of three counts of capital murder. Baldwin was sentence to life in prison without parole, and Echols sentence to death row. All three appealed their convictions, but were upheld on direct appeal.

The case was brought back in 2007, when Echols petitioned for a re-trail to test DNA evidence after technology advancements. The testing was done, which found none of the DNA evidence to match that of the three men convicted.

In 2008, information surfaced revealing that a jury member discussed information with an attorney before deliberating.

Later in 2010, Echols spoke about the last seventeen years behind bars. "I'm in a situation where people have accused me of the most vile, heinous just atrocious acts a human being can commit. I've been called every name. I've lived in hell for 17 and half years for something I didn't do," said Echols.

It was at this time the Arkansas Supreme Court called for a lower judge to determine whether the newly examined DNA evidence could potential exonerate the three men. This led to Circuit Court Judge David Laser taking over in the appeal hearings for David Burnett.

Thursday, a family member for one of the three boys who were murdered told fellow Raycom News Network Station WMC that a deal was reached that could lead to two of the three men convicted to be released Friday.

"They said a deal had been made or is about to be made for two of the animals that killed my son would probably be released tomorrow," said one of the victim's parents. But this information cannot be verified since Judge Laser has a gag order in place.