Damien Echols petitions court to use new DNA testing on “West Memphis 3″ evidence

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Damien Echols and his legal team are moving forward in their hopes of clearing Echols’ name in the infamous “West Memphis 3″ case.

Echols, arrested in the case with Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., was sentenced to death after being convicted for the murder of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993.

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However, DNA testing led to the “West Memphis 3″ taking an Alford Plea and being released from prison in 2011.

Now, Echols and his legal team are hoping further new DNA testing will stand to proof of his innocence in the heinous crime.

Monday, Echols filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Crittenden County to permit new scientific testing of evidence in the case.

Specifically, Echols and his legal team would like the shoestrings, used to tie up the murdered boys, to go under M-Vac wet vacuum system testing, a form of DNA testing which was unavailable at the times of prior DNA testing done in the case, according to the petition filed by Echols.

Echols and his legal team claim that authorities told them that some of the evidence in the case was “lost”, “misplaced,” and “destroyed by fire.”

However, in late 2021 Echols lawyers were invited to survey the remaining evidence in West Memphis when they discovered the shoestrings were still intact, evidence that Echols’ lawyers claim was misfiled by the West Memphis Police Department.

If Echols’ request for new DNA testing is granted, his attorneys would like the shoestrings and other evidence to be tested in California’s Pure Gold Forensics, Inc. laboratory, an accredited private forensic DNA laboratory specializing in the new M-Vac technology, according to Echols.