Mother of West Memphis 3 victim sues police department

(WMC-TV) - A new lawsuit has been filed in connection with the West Memphis 3 murders.

Pam Hicks, the mother of 8-year-old victim Stevie Branch, wants evidence in the case returned to her from the West Memphis Police Department.

Hicks thought the release of the West Memphis 3 would remove the barrier between her and the evidence collected from her son the day he died. The evidence consists of a friendship bracelet, his bicycle, and whatever he was carrying in his pocket.

But she says West Memphis police denied her request to see that evidence, Now, she is suing them.

Pam Hicks' son Stevie Branch was one of three 8-year-old boys brutally murdered in West Memphis in 1993.

Nineteen years later she's has never seen evidence collected from him the day he died.

"Those are belongings that belonged to my son that I hold personally dear to my heart," said Hicks.

Last week, West Memphis police denied Hicks' request to view the evidence.

"To them it's considered old evidence, to me it's precious memories," she said.

"There are no legal grounds to deny anyone to see the evidence in this case," said attorney Ken Swindle.

On Friday, Hicks' attorney filed a lawsuit against the West Memphis Police Department and Chief Donald Oakes.

Oakes says items seized in a violent offense that results in a conviction must be forever impounded. He says it is not up to him to open the vault.

"If the court says that they would like the evidence made available, it will be done immediately but that's who needs to make that call," said Chief Oakes.

Hicks wants to see for herself her son's belongings are secure, particularly after his autopsy photos wound up on EBay.

"It worries me, it brings me pain and suffering because I don't know if tomorrow I'll click on and see that my son's bicycle is for sale," she explained.

The Mayor of West Memphis is among the parties Hicks is suing. She isn't asking for any monetary settlement.

Mark Byer, the father of Christopher Byers who was also found murdered that day, is planning to file a similar suit.