Thursday, August 30, 2012

New fiber analysis results in WM3 case

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Blake Hendrix, attorney for Jason Baldwin, has forwarded a copy of a letter he and co-counsel John T. Philipsborn sent to Second Judicial District Prosecutor Scott Ellington two days ago outlining the results of some of the most extensive fiber-analysis ever conducted on materials collected during the investigation of the murders of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis in May 1993.

Fibers from the case were analyzed by forensic chemist Dr. John Goodpaster of Purdue University, Christopher Bommarito, formerly of the Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory, and criminalist Max Houck, formerly of the FBI crime lab and FBI trace evidence collection.

In short, the new fiber analysis found that fibers found at the crime scene which were determined to be "microscopically similar" to fiber samples collected from the homes of Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols — and later used as evidence against them at trial — are actually not similar to the collected samples. Or, as Hendrix and Philipsborn put it in the letter to Ellington: "The bottom line is that in 2012, three forensic scientists have looked at the fibers made available by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, and all three applied their expertise to the fiber evidence review. They demonstrate that the initial opinions expressed, which became part of the State's case, were wrong. The questioned fibers examined in 2012 should have been clearly described as unrelated to the fibers that were taken from the Echols and Baldwin residences during the investigation."

You can read the letter to Scott Ellington and the report by Dr. Max Houck here: Baldwin_fiber_evidence.pdf

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