The West Memphis Three were released from Jail on Friday after recent tests on DNA evidence, including material from the crime scene, was found not to match the defendants.
The bodies of three eight-year-olds were found mutilated and murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas in the early nineties. Three teenagers, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin, who were known to the community for minor offences (shop lifting, vandalism etc.) and wore heavy metal t-shirts and had dyed black hair, were put on trial for murder, where the prosecution put forth the idea that the only purported motive in the case was that the slayings were part of a Satanic ritual.
Damien Echols was sentenced to death, while Misskelley and Baldwin were sentenced to life imprisonment.
A website was set up http://www.wm3.org to support the mistrial of the teenagers (now adults), along with various documentaries, books and reports that were published to support the case that Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were wrongly convicted, and police needed a quick solution to the case.
All parties involved in the ongoing legal cases of the West Memphis Three have agreed to a plea agreement, which has resulted in the immediate release of all three men. All have suspended sentences and could face 10 years imprisonment if they re-offend.
WM3 Talking from the courtroom