Open in App
  • Local
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Politics
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Newsletter
  • WREG

    Arkansas Supreme Court rules for West Memphis Three defendant Damien Echols for additional DNA testing

    By Alex Kienlen,


    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled in favor of additional DNA testing of West Memphis Three evidence.

    The court ruled on Thursday in favor of Damien Echols’ request for additional DNA testing of evidence in the 1993 death of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis. The court’s ruling overturned a lower court’s decision not to allow additional testing.

    Judge rejects new evidence testing in ‘West Memphis 3’ case

    Echols, along with Jessie Misskelly and Jason Baldwin, were found guilty by a jury in 1994 for the deaths of the three boys. The evidence against them lacked physical evidence but included testimony that asserted the three engaged in satanic occultism.

    Echols was the only one of the three sentenced to death, with Misskelly and Baldwin sentenced to life. Misskelly also received two additional 20-year sentences.

    DNA testing In 2007 found no evidence linking the three to the crime. They were freed after spending 18 years in prison under an Alford plea, where they pleaded guilty despite claiming innocence.

    The Thursday ruling from the court will allow more advanced DNA testing than was available in 2007. The 2007 testing, other than showing no physical connection with the three, found evidence of the stepfather of one of the murdered boys and the man’s friend.

    Damien Echols of ‘West Memphis 3’ back in court

    The lower court denied the testing because the request to do so was made under a Habeus Corpus plea. The lower court argued that he could not use that law since Echols was not in prison.

    The Supreme Court determined this was in error, with Justice Barbra Webb dissenting.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0