ECHOLS REQUESTS DNA TESTING OF HAIRS FROM CRIME SCENE
Asks Judge Laser to Allow DNA Analysis of Crime Scene Material Never Tested and All Information Held by the FBI
(Little Rock, Arkansas—March 30, 2011) In a brief filed today in the court of Second Judicial District Circuit Judge David N. Laser, Damien Echols’s defense team asked for permission to conduct DNA, fiber, and fingerprint tests on certain materials found at the crime scene and elsewhere, some of which could not be tested in 1993 because the testing technology was unavailable.
The attorneys requested all material held by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory and certain forensic evidence possibly in the possession of the West Memphis Police Department, LabCorp (formerly known as Genetic Design), the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and the FBI. The requested material includes:
- All hair retrieved from the crime scene.
- All remaining biological material, including “skin cuticles” from the ligatures.
- All of the victims’ clothing, including shoes and shoelaces.
- The non-ligature portion of the one black shoelace that was apparently cut in half.
- All other physical evidence from the crime scene, including sheriff’s badge, bike reflector lights, bicycles, ice pick, cigarette packets and cigarette butts, child’s wallet, hook and rope, and all wooden sticks.
- The wooden planks removed from the tree fort near the crime scene.
- The white sheets in which the victims’ bodies were transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the white paper on which the victims’ clothing was dried before being examined.
In addition, the brief requests that the court agree to the testing of “… green vegetable-like material from Steve Branch’s stomach.” The defense has developed new evidence indicating that Pam Hobbs, Stevie’s mother and Terry’s wife at the time, prepared “Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner for Stevie on the night of May 5th before she went to work at 4:30 that day. Terry Hobbs drove Pam to work and then returned home approximately fifteen minutes later. If the green vegetable-like material found in Stevie’s stomach turns out to be green beans, then that fact would tend to help prove that Stevie was in his home sometime after 4:30 P.M. on the day he disappeared, which would likewise provide some corroboration for the new witnesses‘ testimony that Stevie went to his house around 6:30 P.M. that day.”
Three eyewitnesses have provided sworn statements to the court that place Terry Hobbs with the three children at his home at approximately 6:30 p.m., immediately before they disappeared and were murdered.
Capi Peck, co-founder of Arkansas Take Action, said, “We hope that Judge David Laser will grant Damien Echols’s request for DNA, fiber, and fingerprint testing of all material in this case that might provide additional information. The defendants have all requested—and offered to pay for—such additional DNA and scientific testing, thus revealing their lack of fear about what those results might show. It seems to me that the Attorney General’s opposition to additional testing is exactly backwards of what it should be on this issue. It is precisely the truth of these testing results that the State should be looking for—not hiding from.”
New evidence confidential tip line – 501-256-1775
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