MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Damien Echols of the infamous West Memphis Three case announced Thursday that he will be back in court this summer.
In a tweet, Echols said he and his legal team will be back in court on June 23rd to ask the judge to order the prosecutor to hand over DNA to the lab for testing. A circuit judge ordered a hearing Thursday to settle the dispute.
“The state is attempting to prevent the truth from coming out,” Echols said.
Back in December 2021, Echols’ legal team said that evidence believed to have been lost in the case was found at the West Memphis police department.
“Every single piece of it was right there. Nothing had been destroyed. It was all accounted for and cataloged,” he said.
Echols wants a California lab to use new technology that suctions out DNA from the evidence. He wants the shoestrings that were used to tie up the children tested first.
“The only person whose DNA would be in that ligature is the person who tied the knots,” he said.
Echols’ legal team says prosecutors are blocking that, too.
“Now that we’re asking to test it, now that it’s been found, now that we know they were lying when they said it was destroyed, now they don’t want to go through with the testing. Now they’re fighting it,” Echols said.
Back in February, Crittenden County prosecuting attorney Keith Chrestman said filings from Echols’ legal team did not meet state requirements.
At the time, Chrestman claimed Echols’ petition must be presented in the court where the conviction happened, which is Craighead County, not Crittenden.
This summer’s hearing will take place in West Memphis.