Hearing Set to Look At Results for DNA Testing for West Memphis 3

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- A hearing scheduled for April will bring the West Memphis Three case back to court in Region 8.  After several years of re-examining evidence in the case and retesting it with newer DNA technology, a hearing is set to look at the results of the testing on behalf of defendants Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin.

Prosecuting Attorney Brent Davis who originally prosecuted the case in 1994 says this move is not surprising.

"There are motions by all defendants to have new scientific evidence applied to evidence that was previously taken in the case.  We've worked with the defense council for the past four years to have evidence tested and they're requested it be retested," said Davis.

Now a hearing is scheduled to take a look at the results of the retesting.

"We knew hearings were coming.  We've been examining evidence for a number of years and the fact that the judge has scheduled hearings is just the culmination of the normal process that occurs over a period of time," said Davis.

This is one of several hearings for the three convicted men in the past several years.  Court records show that over the past ten years multiple motions have been filed on the behalf of the three.

"There are multiple occasions where the defense has appealed various rulings that were made against him and those have gone up to the Supreme Court and decisions have been made affirming those rulings against him and additional levels of appeals have gone through," said Davis.

The hearings on this evidence are scheduled to take place in Craighead County Circuit Court starting on April 14th however a motion has been filed by all parties asking that date be changed.

"A joint status memorandum has been filed by all parties, defense counsel and the state, with the judge explaining that we don't think we're in the position to have hearings on April 14th because things still need to be done," said Davis.

Regardless of whether or not the judge does decide to push back the actual hearing in this case Davis said he still feels the date is necessary for both sides to work on the case.

"If we don't have evidentiary hearings in April we do need to have hearings to flesh out what issues are being contested what additional tests need to be performed," said Davis.

And while this is a big step for the case it is far from over.