WEST MEMPHIS, AR (abc24.com) - The mother of Steve Branch, one of three 8-year-old boy scouts found murdered in West Memphis in 1993, has filed a lawsuit against the city of West Memphis and its police department.
Pam Hicks alleges that in June 2012 she was denied access to evidence in the case, which is in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Hicks says she'd like to know for sentimental reasons what her son had in his pockets. She says she has repeatedly asked police to show her Steve's possessions.
West Memphis City Attorney David Peeples wrote to Hicks that the Freedom of Information Act doesn't apply to physical evidence in this case. According to court documents, the City stated that "the physical evidence is required to be permanently impounded and securely retained by the law enforcement agency."
Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, known as the 'West Memphis 3,' were released from prison in August 2011 after prosecutors agreed to a rare Alford Plea agreement in which the men entered guilty pleas but maintained their innocence in the boys' deaths.
At his release Echols said, "We can still bring up new evidence, we can still continue the investigations we've been doing, we can still try to clear our names, the only difference is now we can do it from the outside instead of having to sit in prison and do it."
Supporters of the men have offered a $100,000 reward for new information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the 1993 deaths. In January following their release, the defense team for the West Memphis Three stated they have new information pointing to Terry Hobbs, Steve Branch's stepfather, an accusation he has consistently denied.
The prosecutor in this case has said he will not reopen it. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has also said he will not pardon the West Memphis 3.