Jonesboro to be Site of Damien Echols Appeal Hearing

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Attorneys say the first hearing in an appeal by one of the men convicted as teenagers in the 1993 slayings of three 8-year-old West Memphis boys will be held in April.

Dennis Riordan, a lawyer representing death-row inmate Damien Echols, said yesterday that a hearing has been scheduled for April 14 in Craighead County Circuit Court in Jonesboro.  Riordan says the hearing, initially set for a judge to examine evidence from a wide-ranging appeal on Echols' behalf, likely will set a schedule for the case.

However, Riordan says it will be the first time in a decade a court has addressed issues raised on Echols' behalf.

Echols and two others were convicted in the slayings of Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore.  Echols, now 33 years old, was the only one sentenced to death.

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