Funding Agreement Reached in West Memphis 3 Case - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Funding Agreement Reached in West Memphis 3 Case

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Lawyers representing the men convicted in the 1993 slayings of three boys in West Memphis say they've reached an agreement on how donations should be funneled to their defense.

The announcement comes after another group was formed to raise money for the three men, who sympathizers refer to as the "West Memphis Three."

In a letter to supporters, the lawyers wrote that all benefitted from recent DNA testing done for an appeal on behalf of death-row inmate Damien Echols.  A fund accepting donations from a supporters' Web site for the three covered costs of the tests, which the letter said ran to more than $100,000.

The letter said, "We can assure supporters that arrangements are being made to ensure that future contributions will be used to meet the needs of all our clients as they prepare for further legal proceedings in state court."

Echols, now 33 years old, was sentenced to death for the three slayings.  Thirty-year-old Jason Baldwin received a life sentence without parole, while 32-year-old Jessie Misskelley received a life-plus-40-year sentence for the killings.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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