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story.lead_photo.caption Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley and Damien Echols (ADG/HBO / File photo )

A possible plea agreement is in the works that will likely lead to the release of the men convicted in the murders of three boys in West Memphis in 1993, according to multiple reports.

The Commercial Appeal in Memphis as well as a TV station there reported Thursday afternoon that prosecutors and defense attorneys are negotiating a deal for Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley.

Attorneys for the men in Jonesboro declined comment, citing a gag order issued in the case.

Already, the three men have been transferred from prison to Craighead County, where they are to appear in a Jonesboro courtroom Friday morning before Judge David Laser, who was to preside over an evidentiary hearing in the case later this year.

Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were convicted of the May 1993 murders of three 8-year-old boys. Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers were found dead and hog-tied in a ditch off Interstate 40. Echols was sentenced to death while Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Archived Comments

  • NoUserName
    August 18, 2011 at 5:08 p.m.

    Plea? What could these guys cop a plea to? From what I think I know, these guys should be released with a big fat check from the state.

  • larbecca03301125
    August 18, 2011 at 5:32 p.m.

    Eighteen years in prison doesn't seem long enough for the murder of 3 young boys, who never got to see eighteen. I wonder if they were allowed to plea[d] for their lives. I guess if I live to be 100, I'll never understand our judicial system.

  • shortgirl00
    August 18, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.

    @ NoUserName, I totally agree. However, Eighteen years in jail there isn't enough money in the world to bring back all the freedom they lost and all the time that wasn't spent finding the right people who are responsible for the murder.

  • Packman
    August 18, 2011 at 5:41 p.m.

    The WM3 appear to have been railroaded with a true miscarriage of justice. I wise old man once said "It's never too late to do the right thing".

  • ArkansasWoman
    August 18, 2011 at 5:56 p.m.

    Anyone with doubts about the total failure of the legal system in this case should read Mara Leveritt's Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three. The "plea deal" in the works probably includes covering the behinds of police, attorneys, judges, jurors, etc., as well as some limit on the monetary settlement. And isn't it about time the real murderer(s) of the little boys were brought to justice?

  • ToTheLeft
    August 18, 2011 at 6:01 p.m.

    It's time to do the right thing. ArkWoman, I'm afraid the real murderer is dead.

  • DBB
    August 18, 2011 at 6:06 p.m.

    how can you plea deal after 18 years for murder??

  • reklessfabl
    August 18, 2011 at 6:28 p.m.

    @larbecca_gmail-com - Eighteen years in prison is FAR too long for 3 guys who never committed the crime they were convicted of.

  • TheBatt
    August 18, 2011 at 6:32 p.m.

    What in the world might they be pleaing too? Did they actually have a connection to the case after all? Something's fishy...

  • maxegoins
    August 18, 2011 at 6:32 p.m.

    It just proves the power of Hollywood over truth.