The judge in the West Memphis Three case has scheduled a surprise court session for Friday, August 19. Speculation is that all three will be set free. Deal could lead to release of West Memphis Three.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys are working out a deal that could result in the release of the West Memphis Three murder defendants as early as Friday, according to legal sources and relatives of victims.
A source close to the case said the pending deal involves the immediate release of defendants Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley in return for pleas to lesser charges. All three were convicted of capital murder in 1994. Echols was sentenced to death, while Baldwin and Misskelley are serving life terms.
A local news station has a video interview with Steven Branch, father of one of the murdered children, confirming that he has been told that at least two of the West Memphis Three will be set free, including Damien Echols.
Another local news station reports, “Late Thursday, the Arkansas Department of Corrections did confirm Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were ordered to take all their belongings with them to Crittenden County, at least for Friday’s hearing. It all sets up for an explosive judicial session where justice, and possibly freedom, for the West Memphis Three could be on the line.”
Speculation will be moot soon enough. I’ll wait until we have solid facts to comment further.