Panel outlines new 'West Memphis 3' evidence at news conference - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Panel outlines new 'West Memphis 3' evidence at news conference

There is no evidence linking the West Memphis 3 to the murders of three eight-year-old boys in 1993. That was the message delivered Thursday by a panel of experts at a press conference in Little Rock.

Among those in attendance at Thursday's announcement was Damien Echols' wife, dressed in blue.  She, along with members of the press and other interested parties, gathered in a classroom at the University of Arkansas Law School to listen to a panel of legal heavy hitters, including a defense attorney, an FBI profiler, and a forensics expert.  The panel spent more than an hour laying out its findings in the West Memphis 3 case.

"Then, as now, there is not a single piece of evidence to tie Damien Echols to these crimes," said defense attorney Dennis Riordan.

John Douglas, the former FBI profiler who broke the Ted Bundy case, said the killer of the three eight-year-old boys was too sophisticated to be a teenager. The West Memphis 3- Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelly- were all teenagers when they were arrested for the murders more than 14 years ago.

Riordan said the panel's investigation revealed there is no evidence that ties the West Memphis 3 to the murders of the eight-year-old boys.  While showing video from the trio's trial, Riordan said Jessie Misskelley's statement that all three committed the crimes was a sham- a statement filled with inaccuracies that was led and coerced by police.

"This is not a Satanic murder," Riordan said. "There is no ritual. There is no ritualistic crime going on here."

Prosecutors maintained a knife found behind Jason Baldwin's trailer was used to ritually cut up the boys.  Forensic expert Dr. Richard Souviron said the wounds found on the victims were claw marks from animals..

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know these cuts did not come from a serrated knife or any knife, and see these marks on these two human beings that back handed knife made the marks," Souviron said. "Give me a break. That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard."

Earlier this week, the defense team filed more than 700 pages of evidence from their investigation in federal court, in an attempt to get the convictions overturned.  Click here to read the filing.

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