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WEST MEMPHIS 3

Two Men will 'Admit Guilt'

In Exchange for Freedom

8/18/2011 2:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0818-west-memphis-three-2BN
Two members of the West Memphis 3 will be released from an Arkansas prison after "admitting guilt" in the deaths of 3 Boy Scouts back in 1993 ... this according to local reports.

The WM3 -- comprised of Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin -- were each sentenced to life in prison for the killings of Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers -- whose mutilated bodies were found in a wooded area in West Memphis, Arkansas in May 1993.

For years, Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin have claimed they were 100% innocent of any crime -- and their plight caught the attention of HUGE Hollywood stars like Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder ... who rallied for their release from prison.

There have been several documentaries made about the case ... most of which suggest the men may not have committed the murders.

But now, according to WREG-TV, two of the men -- one of whom is reported to be Echols -- have apparently changed their tune in exchange for their release from prison ... though it's unclear when the men will be released.

It's also unclear WHY the men would be released if they're confessing to such a heinous crime.

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2:52 PM: TMZ spoke with a rep for John Mark Byers -- a step-father of one of the victims who was also portrayed as a suspect in the documentary, "Paradise Lost."

The rep tells us John will "definitely" be in court tomorrow -- but calls the situation a "double-edged sword" because "even though they should never have been arrested, a murderer is getting the last laugh."



179 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

gossipgirl86    

I'm getting the fu** out of Arkansas. People are in prison for selling a lil green but you get out scott free if you kill lil boys. This podunk place is a disgrace and I have been here long enouph!

1126 days ago
17.

Emily    

Does anyone have a source for this information? I've been following this case for some time, and I've been looking at news reports elsewhere online, and this is the only story I can find which states they'll be admitting guilt.

1126 days ago
18.

check    

dito mary from modesto

1126 days ago
19.

theboss    

Has Jose Baez gone to Arkansas to get Damien Echols our of jail after he pulled off the impossible with Casey Anthony? That man works magic - now send him to Italy for Amanda Knox. If Damien Echols gets released from prison, Casey Anthony should move to Arkansas because she won't be the most hated person in America with Echols out. Still, I think Echols et. al. are not guilty so I am very interested to see how this pans out.

1126 days ago
20.

Sonja    

Because half of the police involved in this case have proven corrupt. Rather than face a retrial in October of this year they are making the offer. This way these boys can't come back and sue the state/city for all the bs they did. I wish the boys wouldn't take this 'deal' but if I'd been locked up and demonized for years, for something I didn't do and they said, just admit guilt and we'll let you go.. I'd guess it would be pretty hard to say no to that.

1126 days ago
21.

rick    

In case you dont know the facts in this case, read up, its very interesting. The HBO do***entary, Paradise Lost 2 was excellent and will awaken you to what a miscarage of justice this was.. New DVA evidence has proved that the killers DNA did not match any of the three kids in jail. Also, there was a clear bite mark on one boy and , again, it did not match any of the West Memphis 3's bite impressions. This was overlooked by the backwards ass coroner during the trial. The cops interrogated one guy who was borderline retarded and got a false confession just so they would leave him alone after hours and hours. Its a pretty interesting phenomenon that that happens when the cops bully you and give you no way out after the threaten you and scare you into submission. The Michael Crow case was another false confession example. Cops can force a guy to confess to killing Kennedy but it doesn't mean he did it. Hope they get out of jail ASAP. I'll wait until the hearing tomorrow to see what this deal is all about.

1126 days ago
22.

Classic    

this is f*ckin crazy... releasing murderers? there isn't enough weed in the world to make me think this is a good idea. buy my music - hollywood classic

1126 days ago
23.

Kelly    

This sounds a lot like what happened with Lawrencia Bembenek. Convicted of murder, escaped from jail, captured, admit guilt go free. Most people believe she didn't do it.

1126 days ago
24.

Wayniac917    

And we wonder why other Countries laugh at us. what a joke we are.

1126 days ago
25.

c    

So not even 20 years is now considered life in prison? And now that they say they did it they're letting them loose?! I see the Arkansas justice system is run by such intelligent people.

1126 days ago
26.

mikki    

BlinkOnCrime has the best info on this. She's doing an expose - part 1 is up now. These three are guilty. The do***entaries and media reports purposefully left out information to make it appear the three were innocent.

1126 days ago
27.

EJPike    

Everyone worried that guilty men are being set free can relax. They have a hearing scheduled for December that would let them out anyway. They are giving up their right to sue in exchange for an additional few months of freedom. They will make plenty of money off interviews and movie rights now, rather than wait for a payoff from the state a few years down the road.

1126 days ago
28.

shellibelli    

I read all about this case, and saw both movies, there was NO ZERO ZIP evidence linking any of these 3 kids to the murders. Nothing, no blood, mud anything.

They even found DNA in the knots of one of the ligatures on the dead kid, that belonged to another step dad - how do you explain his dna getting int he knot it self?

these guys should have never had been accused let alone locked up.

1126 days ago
29.

minnietx    

Ughhh!! I am throwing out my Pirates of the Caribbean how gross, of Johnny Depp. To think I used to like him!!!
Wynonna; I don't know much about her, but I guess prisoners have to stick together.
If you have children you will turn off these two and never watch another thing they put out!!

1126 days ago
30.

D    

I don't understand the update..."even though they should never had been arrested, a murderer is getting the last laugh.

TMZ, WHY are these commercials suddenly playing?? I keep turning off the sound on them, and here they come again.

1126 days ago
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