Saturday, August 20, 2011

#WM3: The memphis Three- The bloody necklace not used as evidence in the trial ?

(1) I am a licensed and practicing attorney in the State of Arkansas.  I am the duly elected Prosecuting Attorney of the Second Judicial District to represent the State of Arkansas in this matter now pending before the Court.

(2) It is my recollection that on March 11, 1994, prior to the State resting its case, the Prosecuting Attorney's Office advised defense counsel that, on the previous evening, it had discovered the possibility that blood was present on a necklace worn by separate defendant Damien Wayne Echols at the time of his arrest and that the necklace had been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.  The Prosecuting Attorney's Office further advised defense counsel at that time that the serologist from the State Crime Laboratory, Kermit Channell, had informed the State that there was blood on the necklace and, at the State's request, he would send the necklace to Genetic Design for further testing to determine whether there was any evidentiary value of the blood found thereon.  This information was made known to the defense and to the Court prior to the State resting.

(3) On the afternoon of March 15, 1994, after Court had recessed for the day, the State was informed at approximately 4:30 p.m. by representatives of Genetic Design in North Carolina that they had received a result which would be consistent with the blood of both the defendant Charles Jason Baldwin and the victim Steve Branch.  The representatives of Genetic Design informed the State that they could conduct an additional test to try to determine which person the blood came from.  Thereafter, the State attempted to contact the attorneys for each defendant to notify them of this development and to discuss a possible one-day continuance in the matter.  After unsuccessfully attempting to contact the attorneys for each defendant, the Court was contacted because of the problem of notification of the jury in the event a continuance was granted.

(4) On March 17, 1994, the Court reconvened and, at that time, the State advised the Court of the results, having previously advised defense counsel of the test results.  It is my recollection that an in-camera off-the-record hearing was held in chambers wherein defense attorneys for both defendants, the prosecutors, and the Judge were present.  The Judge stated at that time that he was inclined to grant the Motion for Mistrial as to the defendant Baldwin and to sever the cases if the new evidence was allowed in.  A hearing was conducted before the Court as a result of the defense objections to the introduction
of said evidence, and after arguments of counsel, the Court declared a recess prior to making his ruling.

(5) During the recess, the Court summoned the attorneys for the State and informed them of his ruling.  As the Court was informing the representatives of the State of his ruling, the attorneys for the defendant Baldwin entered the room, at which time the Court completed stating his ruling.  No actual conversation or discussion took place other than the Court advising the attorneys for the State of his ruling.  Attorneys for the defendant Baldwin were aware of the circumstances of the Court informing the attorneys for the State of his ruling and had an opportunity to make a record if they objected to this procedure and declined to do so.,233.0.html