Pam Hobbs, mother of Steve Branch, one of three eight-year-olds killed in the 1993 West Memphis slayings that became the West Memphis 3 case, says new information unearthed in a new documentary, “West of Memphis,” has persuaded her to call for the state of Arkansas to reopen the case.
Some of the information pertains to hearsay relating to remarks allegedly made by Branch’s stepfather and Pam Hobbs’ ex-husband, Terry Hobbs. He’s steadfastly denied any involvement in the death of the children and some of his denials, as well as statements from others that contradict some of his accounts, are included in the recent HBO documentary, “Paradise Lost: Purgatory.”
“West of Memphis” is yet another documentary, screened Friday at the Sundance festival, with more information in the case. It includes some of the same information about overheard statements. But a spokesman for Pam Hobbs also said the filmmakers have information about testing of knives she supplied. UPDATE: i am now informed that this is incorrect. There is no reference to such evidence in the film. Pam Hobbs is not accusing anyone else of the crimes, in any case, but thinks the weight of what has been produced is sufficient for the state to reopen the case.
Jonesboro Prosecutor Scott Ellington had said in agreeing to release of West Memphis 3 defendants for time served that their guilty pleas closed the case. But he also said he’d be willing to review anything produced by those seeking to prove their innocence. He told me earlier today, before I received Hobbs’ statement, that he had not yet received the promised package of affidavits about overheard remarks.
Hobbs’ statement today: