I will never be able to find words to come close to expressing the constant and deep pain of the last 18 years. So many people's lives were drug into a living nightmare with the death of those three little boys, May 5, 1993. The cost of suffering that unbelievable loss which has been paid by the families of all those involved, victims and accused, can never be counted, and the rumors and accusations that have flown ever since that day have torn lives and families apart. I am one of those who continue to pay that cost, but there are many, many others and my heart goes out to them. From the very beginning until this moment state and local officials has reassured me at every turn of the case there has never been one speck of interest in me as a suspect.
What I will also never be able to find words for is the thanks I feel for the support of my Lord, my family, my friends, my church and the state of Arkansas. They will have to read it in my eyes and feel it in my return of support for them all.
I'm glad this part of the nightmare is over. I hope and pray for all of the families to move on with their lives from this point with a sense of hope and peace, trusting that the Lord knows all, loves all, and when sincerely asked forgives all. I'm moving on with my life leaving this part of the nightmare as part of the past.
I've prayed for Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley more than once, and as recently as last night. I've asked the Lord to work a miracle of forgiveness in me toward them, and believe he is al-ready answering that prayer. My hope for them is that they live good and productive lives for the rest of their time on this earth.
One thing I believe all who have been touched by this tragedy can agree on is that the truest victims in all of this continue to be Michael Moore, Christopher Byers and my step-son Stevie Branch. From this point on I will have nothing at all to say about the case. According to the state of Arkansas and in my own heart and mind it is closed, and I am leaving it that way. From this point on I will talk about my love for Ste-vie, what he has always and will continue to mean to me, and look for-ward to seeing him again in heaven, where there will only be peace and joy and love forever.
Witnessed by: Dr. Steve Stone
August 24, 2011