WM3 first day of freedom, community reacts

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The three men convicted in the West Memphis Three case are enjoying their freedom this Saturday. After striking a bargain that allowed the men to plead guilty on Friday, they were able to walk free with time served. Friday afternoon we asked you Region Eight what you thought of the historic event.

With any type of criminal case opinions will vary. And the West Memphis Three Trial was no different and was one that wasn't ignored by the public. Many stayed glued to the T. V. Friday, anxious to find out what was going to happen.

"Oh my goodness. I was so happy that they finally got out, but it was like they wasted 18 years of their lives, and they'll never get that back," said Cheryl Woods, who says she's followed the case since it all started.

"I remember it yeah. It was just horrible. I cried. I actually had a friend from Marked Tree actually come down here just to be at the first trial," said Woods.

While some felt this turn of events was a long time coming, others, well they had their own opinion.

"I don't think they should of let them out. I saw them in the news and I think they did it," said Julia Rodriguez.

But with either side, both view the justice system in a new light.

"About them being free? Well I think the law is being corrupt," said Rodriguez.

"Yeah they had to plead guilty to something they didn't do when they knew in their hearts they were lying. But they had to plea guilty just to be able to be released, and that's wrong. That's not justice," said Woods.

And many believe there's still a killer on the streets that got away with murder. "In my opinion, there someone walking around out there that killed those three little boys," said Joyce Barnett.

"These boys had nothing to do with it and we knew that all along. Yet they got sentence for nothing. Yet to know there is still somebody out there. They could be living right here in Jonesboro who killed those kids. We'll never know," said Woods.

After Friday's hearing, Misskelley went to his hometown in Marion, Echols and Baldwin traveled to Memphis. A publicist with the West Memphis Three expected Echol's first meal out would probably be something healthy since he hasn't had a piece of fresh fruit in eight years.

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