Another anonymous donor has come forward and, as a result, Damien Echols's defense team has doubled the amount of the reward to $200,000 to find the real killers of the three young boys in the West Memphis 3 case. The donors have chosen to remain anonymous and have placed a time limit on the reward offer. If no direct evidence emerges, the funds will be allocated toward further DNA and investigative efforts.
New Billboards will be posted to promote the $200,000 reward and encourage those with credible information to contact the confidential tip line as soon as possible. Attorneys for Damien Echols will review all calls and verify the information provided.
All credible evidence will be turned over to Scott Ellington, District Prosecutor, who has said that he will review evidence presented to him from Echols's defense team.
Little Rock attorney Patrick Benca said, "We are encouraged by the response to the original reward offer and have received some very important leads as to who may have killed these three little boys. Now that another supporter has stepped forward to pledge even more reward money, we feel confident that we will get to the bottom of this case. Those with information should not waste any time if they are interested in obtaining the reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. We are not looking for theories, but real information that can put the true criminal(s) behind bars."
Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were freed in August 2011, after serving eighteen years in the wrongful conviction murder of the three children in 1993. Their freedom was based upon a plea agreement in which, while maintaining their innocence, the three agreed to an Alford plea. They were released based upon time served. The three, men, who unequivocally claim they are innocent, nevertheless accepted the deal to get out of prison. They have vowed to continue to fight to seek justice in the case and want the real killers to be found.
Capi Peck, founder of Arkansas Take Action, said, "It is time that those who know who committed this terrible crime come forward and provide information that can put this stain on the Arkansas criminal justice system to rest. It is just the right thing to do now. We do not intend to stop until those responsible are brought to justice, and those who spent half their lives imprisoned are exonerated."
Confidential Tip Line 501.256.1775 or send information to PO Box 183, 6834 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, AR 72207.