Court documents reveal new details in the case of the "West Memphis 3" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Court documents reveal new details in the case of the "West Memphis 3"

A jury convicted the West Memphis 3 nearly 14 years ago of the murders of three eight-year-old boys: Michael Moore, Stevie Branch and Christopher Byers.

Now, a high powered defense team is trying to prove Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley didn't do it.

New DNA testing by the defense shows that none of the genetic material recovered from the murder scene links Echols, Baldwin, or Misskelley to the scene.  Instead, defense attorneys say, the tests found DNA from Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the murdered boys.

Thursday, Hobbs told Action News 5 he didn't do it.  "I'd have to laugh at that and say there's something wrong with someone who would think that," he said.

Hobbs claimed a private investigator from the defense team told him one of his hairs was discovered in a knot in one of the shoe laces used to tie up the three eight-year-olds.

"If Michael Moore or Christopher Byers had a piece of my hair on shoes strings, these little boys came to my home and played with our little boy pretty regularly," Hobbs said.

The DNA results also revealed, according to court documents, that most of the DNA at the crime scene came from the victims, but some of it cannot be connected to the victims or the defendants.

"I don't know what to think about it," Hobbs said. "It's their job to do what they do."

Hobbs, now divorced from Stevie Branch's, mother said he's not worried, because he knows he has done nothing wrong.

Prosecutor Brent Davis would not comment about the DNA, but did file a report acknowledging that DNA from the West Memphis 3 was not discovered at the crime scene.  Davis also acknowledged there was a hair discovered in the knot in the shoelace.

Davis said he believes the West Memphis 3 are guilty, but he has agreed to allow the defense to do more DNA testing.


Click here to email Janice Broach.

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