Petition filed for re-testing of DNA from West Memphis Three murder scene

Evidence in West Memphis Three case missing or destroyed
Evidence in West Memphis Three case missing or destroyed((Source: WMC))
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:07 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 10:04 AM CST
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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (KAIT) - Attorneys for Damien Echols, one of those involved in the West Memphis Three case, have filed a petition to the Crittenden County court to allow the recently-discovered DNA from the crime scene re-tested.

Echols is one of the three people accused of killing three eight-year-old boys in 1993.

The petition was filed after the Second Judicial Prosecutor told Echol’s attorney he would not re-test DNA from the crime scene.

The petition, which was released Monday, Jan. 24, states that using the new M-Vac wet vacuum DNA collection testing technology would provide more accurate results compared to the wet-swab method. They specifically state M-Vac gave an average of 10 times more nDNA and nine times more mtDNA as compared to the initial wet-swabbing.

The attorneys state that the ligatures used in the binding of the victims are made of a type of material that could make it difficult for methods such as the wet-swab method to determine any DNA of the potential killer.

The attorneys note that while it’s unclear if the additional testing of the ligatures with the new M-Vac technology will lead to the recovery of new DNA samples for testing, having the DNA get re-tested will ensure that “justice” is done in the case.

Echols was sentenced to death as a result of his murder convictions.

Throughout the proceedings, Echols and his co-defendants, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., maintained their innocence of the crimes.

correction: Due to reporter error, we initially reported the victims were teenagers. We regret the error.

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