MARION, Ark. (KTHV) - Pam Hicks and Mark Byers, both parents of two victims in the 1993 West Memphis murders, were in court Wednesday trying to get a judge to allow them to see evidence from the murders.
The lawsuit filed against West Memphis police, prosecuting attorney Scott Ellington, and others is an effort to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)to allow the parents to see physical evidence linked to their son's murders.
Wednesday's hearingwas not a typical FOIA hearing. Two questions asked Wednesday in court were "Is there an ongoing investigation over the West Memphis murders right now," and "Does physical evidence fall under the FOIA law?"
John Mark Byers, adoptive father of victim Christopher Byers says, "I think it's almost an oxymoron. One side to say there's a case closed and the other side saying we have an investigation going on."
Byers questions the "ongoing investigation" debate between his legal team and that of prosecuting attorney Scott Ellington. Three affidavits filed within the last year are, according to Ellington's team, off-limits for viewing because of an ongoing investigation. Both the West Memphis Police and Crittenden County Sheriff'sdepartments claim they are not part of this investigation.
West Memphis attorney David Peeples argues physical evidence is not available under FOIA, while the parents' attorney, Ken Swindle, disputes that point. Judge Victor Hill says he'll make a decision by next Tuesday.
There will be another hearing to look over the fourth and fifth amendments within the next week. The amendments were made by Swindle just a couple of days ago, and the judge ruled to give the defense time to look over the motions before the proceeding.