New evidence points to new suspects in West Memphis 3 case

Published: Oct. 29, 2007 at 9:56 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 30, 2007 at 2:34 PM CDT
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The attorney for convicted killer Damien Echols says DNA evidence proves he is innocent and he's demanding a new trial.

Echols is one of three men found guilty in the brutal murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis in 1993.

Renowned forensic expert Vincent DiMaio and Memphis attorney Gerald Skahan walked into the office of a private investigator.

Soon after Pam Hobbs, mother of Stevie Branch, and Mark Byers, father of Christopher Byers, walked in through a side door.

They came to hear new evidence that points to Hobbs' ex-husband Terry Hobbs as the killer and not the so called West Memphis Three.

After about an hour, Pam Hobbs' sister came out and talked.

"Terry Hobbs had the motive. Terry Hobbs is the one suspected of murder and the wounds that were inflicted on my nephew were where turtles bit his face. No knives and not weapons were used," says Jo Lynn McCaughey.

McCaughey says her sister is very upset. She says she is too because they believe they are hearing different stories.

In July, Terry Hobbs knew defense investigators were looking at him because his hair was discovered in the shoe laces of one of the murdered boys.

Pam Hobbs did not want to comment after the meeting saying, "I have no comment at all." Mark Byers also had nothing to say.

For years, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelly, and Jason Baldwin said they didn't do it.

They say someone else murdered those little boys.

Stevie Branch was an honor roll student who had an active imagination and loved to sing. He wrote a song when he was 8-years-old.

"He was a very intelligent little boy. I could have had the next president had he not been murdered," says Pam Hobbs.

Hobbs remembers vividly the last time she spoke to her son. She says he asked if he could ride bikes with his friends on the afternoon of May 5th, 1993.

He left her home and never came back.

Investigators found Stevie's nude body along with the bodies of Michael Moore and Christopher Byers bound in a shallow creek off I-40 in Crittenden County.

Hobbs adds, "for the first  five or six years it was hell on earth. If they could put that into words, if they could describe how I felt.'

After a massive manhunt, police charged Damien Echols, Jessie Miskelley and Jason Baldwin with killing the boys.

Echols got the death penalty. Miskelley and Baldwin got life in prison.

"I feel like the ones that killed my son, the three that were tried and convicted they are guilty. But I am like everyone else, was there someone else out there other than those three," says Hobbs.

For years, investigators have denied the possibility of anyone else being involved in the murders, while websites devoted to the case poke holes in the detectives' work.

The HBO documentary "Paradise Lost" also claimed West Memphis police botched the case.

Action News 5 reporter Janice Broach covered the West Memphis Three case extensively.

There were questions about other suspects who could have been involved.

Hobbs says she doesn't mind people supporting the West Memphis Three. She does think they are guilty. And she just doesn't know if they worked alone.

"If that's the way he wants to go down in history as a child murderer, then that's the road he chose to take in this life," adds Hobbs.

Hobbs says she's forgiven Echols and anyone else connected to the murder of her son and hopes something positive can still come from the killings.

"If God would save their souls then the devil didn't accomplish anything out of this. He just made my life a little miserable," says Hobbs.

Even though the West Memphis Three are behind bars, this case is not over.


to read court documents in the case.


to email Janice Broach.