Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The West Memphis Three

Request for a New Trial

Support continues to grow for the West Memphis Three, leading attorneys and celebrities alike to publicize the case and promote the innocence of Echols, Ballard and Misskelley. As a result, Damien Echols' defense team will appear before the Arkansas Supreme Court on September 20, 2010, to present a motion for a new trial.

Damien Echols
Damien Echols

His lawyers plan on presenting the testimony of Jamie Clark Ballard, who was 13 at the time, and whose testimony names Terry Hobbs, Steven Branch's stepfather, as the last person to see the boys alive. Ballard didn't realize until 2007 that Hobbs had claimed not to have seen the boys that afternoon. Ballard's testimony is backed up by that of her mother and sister.

Attorneys will also present new DNA evidence from two hairs found at the crime scene, one from the bindings on Michael's wrists that is consistent with the DNA of Terry Hobbs, and the other, found near one of the bodies, that is consistent with the DNA of David Jacoby, a friend of Hobbs whom Hobbs had visited about an hour before the boys' disappearance. Though police interviewed Hobbs in 2007 when the new DNA evidence first came to light, he was never considered a suspect.

NEXT: Freeing the West Memphis Three

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