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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.

update_bar
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

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31.

Sonja    

The point, D is that now whoever did kill those boys will never be charged or found.. case over thanks to this 'deal'. The deal is all about protecting the state and city from being sued for railroading these three boys. So the murderer is getting the last laugh because three were convicted for his crime and now that they may plead guilty for this plea means whoever really did it, got away with it.

1109 days ago
32.

Patrick    

They are innocent and Ark. knows it. Hence, their ultimatum is to 'admit guilt', amd Ark. will release them and be unable to be sued. People, guys who actually murder 3 children are not given this option, especially in the South. READ BETWEEN THE %$#@ LINES!!!

1109 days ago
33.

Patrick    

Christ, people, read between the lines. People who REALLY murder 3 children don't get a ultimatum like this. This is Ark. way to try to get 3 innocent people out of Prison without getting a black eye and sued. I won't be surprised if the 3rd guy simply won't go along with it.

Seriously, stop acting like "Admitting guilt to get out of Prison" is actually admitting to ANYTHING.

Like one of the victim's fathers said, somewhere a real killer is laughing.

1109 days ago
34.

D    

Thanks Sonja, my mind is not working today at all!

1109 days ago
35.

christy    

Ok noone knows whether they did it but them and those poor little boys. I have watched countless shows about this and depending on which one you watch you go back and forth. If you watch one that believes they are innocent then it shows things that convinces you they are. If you watched one that isnt biased either way you tend to think they did it. YOu are forgetting that dna was not as well tested as today so that really means nothing to me. I do believe its possible that one of the fathers did this. Not the one all over the do***etaries but the one whos hair was in one of the knots. My problem with that is though, he could not of done alone with three boys so that means more then one person, you know as well as I do that people talk and it would of come out at some point. I believe after watching everything that it is more probable that these boys did it.

1109 days ago
36.

tazer    

government likes to trick people like this no way there getting released once they confess its back to prison and possibily more life sentences added on.

1109 days ago
37.

Sonja    

LOL, no prob. D, I thought it was worded oddly myself.

1109 days ago
38.

mat    

I am sure they have been turned down at many parole hearings because by saying they are innocent they are not taking responsibility for their crime. That's a real catch 22 if you really are innocent. I guess I would eventually tell them what they want to hear to be released.

1109 days ago
39.

puddintang    

I don't understand why they would let them out even if they admitted guilt. they were convicted of an unimaginable crime. Those boys were tortured before being killed. That case has haunted me for years and I think of it every time I let my little girl outside to ride her bike.

1109 days ago
40.

Elizabeth    

This is NOT true, they are not pleading guilty according to other news reports..It appears to be about DNA and other evidence. There is a gag order and that would also apply to TMZ.

1109 days ago
41.

ThatsPrincessToYou    

THEY ARE BEING SET FREE BECAUSE THEY DID NOT DO THIS AND THE COURTS AND POLICE WILL NOT ADMIT THEY PROSECUTED THE WRONG KIDS!!!!! JUSTICE SYSTEM MY ARSE! ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG AND LET THESE KIDS, I MEAN GROWN MEN OUT! WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, PAY THEM THE RESTITUTION THEY DESERVE!

1109 days ago
42.

growup    

This makes ZERO sense!! Why would they get released??!! They spent only ten years in jail for a heinous crime against children. Update needs more info... Why shouldn't they have been arrested?

1109 days ago
43.

.    

The justice systems here is corrupt as hell, id admit to anything to get out, Arkansas just doesn't want to lose face, **** the police

1109 days ago
44.

demoncat    

what the hell after so long of most believing the west memphis three were innocent of the crime. due to one the d.a rushing to make a case and two lousy police work. not to mention they were suppose to get a new trial on being allowed some new dna testing and now they have to plead guilty for the crime to finaly be set free. wtf is wrong with the justice system for this to happen after the so called screw job these three got.

1109 days ago
45.

Sonja    

Let's also not forget that Damien was also targeted for being a Wiccan. Prosecution actually brought in a Satanic Occult Specialist (cough..bull*hit...cough). Who said the killings appeared to have Satanic ritual elements. From then on it was that these kids were Satanists so they were obviously guilty .. mean while the cops had side deals with one of the step Dad's who was selling drugs. There are few cases that scream corruption and railroading as this one.

1109 days ago
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