Timeline of Events in The West Memphis Murders
(Information Courtesy: Arkansas Times and THV11)
May 5, 1993: Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore - all 8 years old - are reported missing after leaving their school.
May 6, 1993: All three of their bodies are found beaten and tied in a wooded area called 'Robin Hood Hills.'
May 7 - 10, 1993: Police interview 18-year-old Damien Echols about the killings. His best friend, Jason Baldwin, and girlfriend are also interviewed.
June 3, 1993: Mentally challenged Jessie Misskelley implicates himself, Baldwin and Echols in the murder of the three children during a police interrogation. Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley are arrested.
June 4, 1993: Misskelley recants his confession.
August 4, 1993: All three men plead not guilty to capital murder charges against them.
November 17, 1993: Police find a knife in the lake behind the trailer home where Baldwin lived at the time of the murders.
February 4, 1994: Jury convicts Misskelley of first-degree murder for Moore and second-degree murder for Byers and Branch. He is sentenced to life in prison.
March 18, 1994: Jury finds Baldwin and Echols guilty of capital murder.
March 19, 1994: Judge David Burnett sentences Baldwin to life in prison without parole and Echols to die by lethal injection.
June 22, 1996: HBO documentary titled, "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" airs, casting doubt and drawing attention to the case.
June 22, 2000: HBO airs "Paradise Lost: Revelations," which focuses on new evidence and the movement to free the WM3.
July 19, 2007: 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 maintains he has no connection with the crime.
December 18, 2007: Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks and other WM3 supporters go to Little Rock asking Gov. Beebe for the mens' pardon. Beebe says he won't pardon the three or commute their sentences.
September 10, 2008: Judge David Burnett denies request for a new trial for Echols and declines to hold hearing to consider new DNA evidence.
August 28, 2010: 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.
November 4, 2010: The state Supreme Court orders a new court evidentiary hearing for Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley. The court says the judge must consider DNA evidence presented by the defense, including evidence not presented in the original trials.
February 18, 2011: Attorneys for the WM3 file briefs on evidence and testimony for the 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.
March 17, 2011: Circuit Judge David Laser of Jonesboro schedules a hearing for Oct. 1.
August 19, 2011: Baldwin, Echols, and Misskelley submit an 'Alford Plea,' which allowed them to plead guilty to murder but still claim to be innocent in the case. As a result of the plea, the three are freed from prison and walk away free men.
January 20, 2012: Defense attorneys for the WM3 say they have new evidence that will exonerate Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley.
February 28, 2012: An anonymous donor offered a $100,000 reward for new information that leads to the arrest and conviction in the 1993 deaths of three Cub Scouts.
March 27, 2013: Judge Victor Hill dismissed prosecuting attorney Scott Ellington and did not allow Pamela Hicks' attorney to present new evidence and testimony. That evidence is said to include information - including affidavits, court testimony, and legal documents - which incriminates four men in the murders.
May 5, 2013: Twentieth anniversary of the deaths of Branch, Byers, and Moore is recognized.
For a more detailed timeline of events in the West Memphis Three case, visit ArkansasTimes.com.