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Three West Memphis members ask court to allow new DNA testing

(CNN)The story of "West Memphis Three," a prominent documentary source for decades of murder The trilogy will return to court on Thursday, and one of the three men is seeking access to evidence that one of the three men wants to test anew for DNA.

Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were convicted a year ago in West Memphis, Arkansas, for the particularly brutal murder of three Cub Scouts. I did. The

man was released from prison in 2011 after signing Alford's plea. As part of the judicial transaction, they were given time to serve a sentence.

In 1993, the bodies of Steve Branch, Chris Buyers, and Michael Moore (all eight years old) were hogties with their shoelaces and left in the ditch. Prosecutors alleged that the teenage defendant was driven by satanic panics and that Echols was the mastermind.

In January of this year, an Echols lawyer filed a petition for a new DNA test, stating that "it may help identify the murderer and bring justice to the case." The Echols petition requires judges to approve tests performed on the M-Vac wet vacuum system. Such tests were not available before the evidence was tested.

Keith Crestman, a prosecutor in Arkansas's Second Jurisdiction, said in court documents that he found someone else's DNA in the evidence, but other evidence shown in the trial. Given that, he claimed that Ecoles could not prove innocent.

Crestman also insisted on a new technique, "not preserving physical evidence, but (it) a one-shot transaction that will change it forever."

On the M-Vac website, the company states: DNA material is collected in bottles.

Baldwin and Miss Kelly are not parties to the petition.

"If the request (of Echols) is granted and the physical evidence is tested, the rest of the defendants may be prejudiced," the prosecutor claimed. "Even if the test reveals nothing of value, the physical evidence will change forever, and with no notice or opportunity to hear, the rest of the defendants will be the Habeas Corpus of the future 1780 Act. No previous DNA link to the suspect

Tested between December 2005 and September 2007 DNAwas unable to link men to crime. The State Supreme Court ruled in November 2010 that all three, preempted by plea bargaining, could present new evidence to the court to clear them.

Documents included hair from the ligature used to tie Moore and hair recovered from a tree stump near where the body was found, according to the court. The document stated. According to the

document, the hair found in the ligature matched the branch's stepfather, Terry Hobbes, and the hair found in the tree stump matched the DNA of Hobbes' friend.

Police have never considered Hobs a suspect, and he claims to have nothing to do with the murder.

Three witnesses who lived next to one of the victims told the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2009 that they saw Terry Hobbs and a sophomore the night before the body was found by police. I submitted an affidavit in October.

Witness statements contradicted Hobbes' police and court statements that he had never seen his stepson Steve on the day of the murder.

Prosecutors said the puncture and victim cutmarks at the trial showed that the crime was part of a sadistic ritual. After the three were convicted, some forensic inspectors claimed that these traces were due to animal bites.

The prosecution relied on learning disabilities and the confession of 17-year-old Miss Kelly with an IQ of 70. He confessed after a three-hour cross-examination by police without tape, without the presence of his parents or a lawyer. Miss Kelly, who was tried separately, later withdrew his confession.

Three members said they were suspects because they were different

Echols and Baldwin were not the other members at the time. The small town companions they lived in said they were aiming to be different. They read different books, wore different clothes, and had different haircuts.

"Evidence for us was our personal preference for music," said Baldwin"At some point during the trial, they were on record, Blue. I think Oyster Cult's record, and John Fogleman (prosecutor), said it was found at Damian's girlfriend's mother's house. "

The critics of the proceedings against men said they There was no direct evidence linking to the killing, claiming that a knife recovered from a lake near one of the men's homes could not have caused the boy's wounds.

The killing was " It was the subject of the "Paradise Lost" documentary trilogy. Films released in 1996, 2004, and 2011 drew attention from musicians such as Eddie Vedder, Tom Waits, and Henry Rollins, and questioned the evidence. , Asked for a review of the case.

The third movie was nominated for an Academy Award.