It was 1993 when the bodies of three West Memphis boys Michael Moore, Stevie Branch, and Christopher Byers were found hog tied and naked in a West Memphis ditch. Police arrested Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin.
Baldwin was sentence to life in prison without parole, and Echols sentence to death row. It was at this time the Arkansas Supreme Court called for a lower judge to determine whether the newly examined DNA evidence could potential exonerate the three men. An agreement has been reached to release two of the "West Memphis 3" -- three men convicted in the 1993 killings of three 8-year-old Cub Scouts in West Memphis -- CBS News affiliate WREG Memphis has learned. The three men were reportedly scheduled to be in court this Friday.
Steve Branch, father of victim Stevie Branch, told WREG that Damien Echols will be one of the men released. Craighead County Circuit Judge David Laser's office on Thursday said Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin will be in court Friday for a surprise hearing. A gag order issued by Laser in April prohibits attorneys from talking to reporters.
All three men were convicted in 1994 of killing Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore and leaving their bodies in a water-filled ditch in West Memphis. Prosecutors say the three men killed the boys as part of a satanic ritual. Echols was sentenced to death while Misskelley and Baldwin received life sentences, reports CBS affiliate KTHV.
A judge has called a surprise hearing for Friday concerning three men - known as the West Memphis Three - convicted of "satanic" killings in 1993 of three 8-year-old Cub Scouts in Arkansas.
The Craighead County Circuit court in Jonesboro, Arkansas, will "take up certain matters pertaining to the cases" of convicted murderers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., according to a statement issued by Craighead County Circuit Judge David N. Laser.
Last month, a status report on new DNA evidence was filed in Craighead County court. It failed to link the crimes to the men convicted in the murders, advocates said at the time.
Echols is now awaiting execution on Death Row for the murders. Baldwin and Misskelley are serving life sentences. The murders of the Cub Scouts -- Steven Branch, Christopher Byers and James Michael Moore -- rocked the community of West Memphis. Prison officials confirmed that the three men were turned over to Craighead County officials from the Arkansas Department of Corrections on Thursday.
So attorneys for the West Memphis Three and the Arkansas Attorney General would not comment on Thursday.
It is unclear if this will be affected by Friday's hearing.