Judge stays on West Memphis killings appeal - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Judge stays on West Memphis killings appeal

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - A retired judge will continue to hear appeals by two men convicted as teenagers in the killing of three 8-year-olds in West Memphis in 1993, despite recently stepping down from the bench.

Retired Craighead County Circuit Judge David Burnett oversaw the original 1994 trials of the three men known to supporters as "the West Memphis Three." Burnett retired as of January 1, but a spokesman for the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts says he will continue to serve as a special judge for the appeals.

Burnett ultimately dismissed the DNA claims raised by Damien Echols, but allowed Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to present evidence that that they were inadequately defended in their 1994 trials.

Those hearings are scheduled to continue January 28.       

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com             

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)      

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