A judge in Crittenden County will hear arguments from Damien Echols on June 23rd over ordering a prosecutor to hand over DNA evidence to a lab for testing in the West Memphis 3 case.

Echols petitioned the courts to retest the evidence in the case, using the M-Vac method for testing.

Prosecuting Attorney Keith Chrestman stated in February in a previous court filing, denying the request, saying that he believes there is little evidence to show that M-Vac is a scientifically sound method to test evidence.

Chrestman stated “A general caselaw search reveals only two cases in which courts mentioned M-Vac,” and went on to say “And neither case discusses whether M-Vac uses scientifically sound methods consistent with forensic practices.”

Chrestman believes that the M-Vac method would alter the DNA, thus would be in violation of the court’s requirement to permanently preserve physical evidence in violent cases.

The prosecutor also stated he believes the testing would create due process concerns involving the other two defendants – Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley.

Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelley were convicted in 1993 in the deaths of three 8 year old boys in West Memphis.

The convicted men later accepted an Alford Plea in 2011 allowing them to plead guilty but still maintain their innocence in the case.