Baldwin echols misskelley

West Memphis Three - Chronography

  • The Murder

    Three eight-year-old boys — Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore — are reported missing several hours after they left Weaver Elementary School in West Memphis.
  • Period: to

    West Memphis Three - Chronography

    Timeline: The West Memphis Three</a>Timeline Of Events in the Case Of theWest Memphis Three
  • The Discovery

    The children's bodies are found in a creek in an area known locally as the Robin Hood Hills. They had been beaten and hog-tied with their shoelaces.
  • The Interview I

    Police interview 18-year-old Damien Echols about the crime.
  • The Interview II

    Police interview Echols again along with his then-girlfriend Domini Teer and Jason Baldwin.
  • the Interview III

    Police interview Damien Echols at the West Memphis Police Department.
  • The Interrogation

    After being interviewed by the police for hours, mentally challenged Jessie Misskelley implicates himself, Baldwin and Echols in the murder of the three children. Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley are arrested. Misskelley later recants his confession.
  • Pre-Trial

    The three plead not guilty to capital murder at a pre-trial hearing.
  • The Trial

    A jury in Clay County Circuit Court convicts Misskelley of first-degree murder in the death of Michael Moore and second-degree murder in the murders of Stevie Branch and Christopher Byers and sentences him to life in prison plus two 25-year terms.
  • The Trial II

    Baldwin and Echols are found guilty of capital murder by a jury in Jonesboro.
  • The Trial III

    Circuit Judge David Burnett sentences Echols to die by lethal injection and Baldwin to life without parole.
  • Post Trial Editorial

    Bob Lancaster skeptically reviews the trial in the Times: "The prosecutors convicted Echols of checking certain suspicious books out of the public library, and copying off dark passages ('full of sound and fury, signifying nothing') from the likes of William Shakespeare. God help him if he'd ever discovered Poe. And yet this vague proposition of the murders as an expression of an ignorant boy's conception of the demands of demonology was the state's entire case. That's all we had. And an obligin
  • The Appeals 96' I

    The Arkansas Supreme Court re-fuses to overturn Misskelley's conviction.
  • The Media Bandwagon I

    The documentary film "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky begins airing on HBO, casting doubt on the WM3's guilt, drawing critical praise and sparking international interest into the case.
  • The Appeals 96' II

    The Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to overturn Baldwin and Echols' convictions.
  • Supreme Court Appeal I

    The U.S. Supreme Court rejects Echols' appeal without comment.
  • Re-Trial Denial

    Judge Burnett denies Echols's argument that his defense team was ineffective in the original trial and denies Echols' appeal for a new trial.
  • Prison Marriage

    Echols marries Lorri Davis at Varner SuperMax Prison.
  • The Media Bandwagon II

    "Paradise Lost 2: Revelations" begins airing on HBO; it examines the "Free the WM3" movement and focuses on new evidence.
  • Confirmation Of 99' Denial

    The Arkansas Supreme Court affirms Judge Burnett's denial of Echols' 1999 appeal.
  • The Denial II

    The Arkansas Supreme Court denies Echols' petition for a new hearing.
  • Branch Family Questioning

    West Memphis police question the mother and stepfather of Stevie Branch. Terry Hobbs, who lives in Bartlett, Tenn., said police requested the interview with him as a result of recent DNA tests on items found with the bodies. Hobbs says he is not bothered by the evidence and maintains he has no connection with the crime.
  • The Pop Culture Movement I

    Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks and other WM3 supporters present Gov. Beebe with hundreds of postcards from supporters around the world asking for their pardon. The governor says he won't pardon the three or commute their sentences.
  • The Denial III

    Judge David Burnett denies request for a new trial for Echols and declines to hold hearing to consider new DNA evidence.
  • The Denial IIII

    Judge Burnett denies Baldwin and Misskelley's request for retrials.
  • The Pop Culture Movement II

    WM3 supporters stage a concert/rally in Little Rock to raise awareness for the case. Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, Patti Smith, Ben Harper and Johnny Depp perform.
  • DNA I

    The Arkansas Supreme Court hears oral arguments to determine whether there should be an evidentiary hearing for a new trial. At issue is each side's interpretation of the state's DNA statute and the "intent" behind the law that grants access to DNA testing, and possibly relief, for those wrongly convicted of crimes.
  • DNA II

    Former State Sen. Kevin Smith, D-Helena, who wrote the state's DNA statute, says the intent of the law is clear: to allow a new trial or venue for post-conviction relief in cases just like this one.

    The state Supreme Court unanimously orders a new circuit court evidentiary hearing for Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley. The court says the circuit judge must consider not only the DNA evidence presented by the defense, but any other exculpatory evidence, including evidence not presented in the original trials.
  • Discussion of Re-trial

    Attorneys for the WM3 file briefs on evidence and testimony they hope to develop in the Arkansas Supreme Court-ordered hearing on whether they should receive new trials. The defendants asked for new DNA testing of physical evidence from the case, including skin samples from the victims and their clothing. The men also want to call as witnesses the father of one of the victims and one of his friends because they are likely sources of DNA that was found in physical evidence, though no trace of the
  • The Re-Trial

    Circuit Judge David Laser of Jonesboro schedules a hearing for Oct. 1.
  • The Release

    In a rarely used plea arrangement known as an "Alford plea," Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley plead guilty to murder while still maintaining their innocence. Judge Laser releases them with time served and a suspended 10-year sentence.