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article imageDNA testing underway in the West Memphis Three case

By Melissa Higgins     Jun 30, 2011 in Crime
DNA testing is currently underway on behalf of the defense for Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley. The three men were convicted as teenagers of the triple homicides of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas.
In December, Judge David Laser is scheduled to preside over an evidentiary hearing for the three men. Damien Echols was sentenced to death row in 1994 and has sought an appeal based in part by DNA test results showing evidence at the discovery site does not match the three men.
Lonnie Soury, spokesperson for Damien, Jason, and Jessie, confirmed that within the past month Judge Laser approved the defense's requests for DNA testing. Soury stated that the defense is currently in the process of testing evidence. The defense is performing testing on the knots of the ligatures that were used to bind the three victims. The defense will also examine auburn hairs found at the crime scene that were originally untested due to the fact they would be destroyed in the process. A number of other items will be tested for DNA evidence as well.
The Echols' defense team is requesting donations to assist in the cost of paying for the new DNA testing. Lorri Davis wrote on the WM3's site, "Help us make this happen! We can finally see the light of day, but we need that final push. The good news is that this is no longer an endless need, we can reach our goal, but we need your help. Anything you can donate will help."
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