Damien Echols, one of the ‘West Memphis Three,’ heads to court this summer to try to clear his name

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Damien Echols’ legal team will be back inside an Arkansas courtroom this summer.

A circuit judge has ordered a hearing on June 23 to decide the dispute about the retesting of evidence in the case of the State of Arkansas vs. Damien Echols, a lawyer said Thursday.

READ MORE: Damien Echols’ legal team reviews ‘lost’ evidence in 1993 West Memphis murder case

Echols, a man who, as a teenager, was accused of a triple murder in West Memphis, Ark., asked his Twitter followers to “Please join us in court, so they know the world is aware of what they’re doing.”

“The state is attempting to prevent the truth from coming out,” he tweeted.

Echols was controversially accused, along with Jessie Misskelley Jr and Jason Baldwin, of murdering three young boys in 1993.

The teens, who became known as the West Memphis Three, were all convicted.

Echols was sentenced to death row.

He was released, along with the other two defendants, in 2011 and has been working to exonerate himself and his fellow defendants ever since.

Last December, Echols’ legal team said they tried for 18 months to review evidence that was thought to be lost. However, that evidence was later found intact, cataloged, organized, and ready for further DNA testing.

His legal team wants the evidence tested by an independent laboratory.

Echols’ lawyer said the evidence was tested once before when DNA technology wasn’t so advanced. At that time, he said the DNA of Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the boys killed, was found on it, along with that of one other person.

In February, the prosecuting attorney for Crittenden County denied the request to re-test DNA.

READ MORE: Request denied for re-testing of DNA from West Memphis Three murders

Lawyers have previously said they also want Hobbs to give a new sample of his DNA.

In 2011, the West Memphis Three were freed on an Alford plea. They pled guilty but still maintained their innocence. Many believe this new evidence and DNA testing could clear their names.