DEBBIE AUSTIN

having been first duly sworn to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. FOGLEMAN:

Q: Will you please state your name and occupation?

A: Debbie Austin, Municipal Court Clerk for West Memphis and Crittenden County.

Q: As part of your duties, do you have in your possession all records of Search Warrants and Affidavits for Search Warrants issued by the municipal judge?

A: I do.

Q: At my request have you brought with you the records including the Affidavit for Search Warrant and the Search Warrant in the case involving a request for a Search Warrant of the residence of Damien Echols?

A: Yes, sir.

MR. FOGLEMAN: I would ask that the Affidavit for Search Warrant be marked as State's Exhibit One.

MR. STIDHAM: Your Honor, may I approach the bench?

[000920]


(THE FOLLOWING CONFERENCE TOOK PLACE AT THE BENCH)

MR. STIDHAM: I was informed on Monday following the initial hearing in municipal court -- I was under the impression that were certain documents that were under seal. Are these documents under seal?

MR. FOGLEMAN: At that time Judge Rainey issued the order that the Affidavit and Search Warrant were not to be released under the exception to the Freedom of Information Act under Court Order they be sealed, and he did it at that time.

THE COURT: Is that how -- and attached to it was the copy of the statement and someone gave it to the Commercial Appeal? I'd like to know who did that because if Rainey ordered it sealed, I'd like to find out how that happened.

MR. FOGLEMAN: Judge, I think a copy of the same documents that were attached to the Affidavit were attached to the Search Warrant, and it was delivered to the individuals whose places were searched.

THE COURT: That explains it then.

MR. STIDHAM: Judge, I don't want to go through this alleged confession stuff again.

THE COURT: We are not going to go through that again, but I'm going to receive --

[000921]


MR. PRICE: The confession is the basis of the Affidavit.

MR. STIDHAM: It's already been sealed, and if we're going to argue this, I'd ask that we move in chambers.

THE COURT: How can you seal something that's already been printed in the Commercial Appeal and talked about in the papers? I'm not going to do that.

MR. STIDHAM: We're just going to have another wave of media attention.

THE COURT: No, they're not either. It is going to come to me, and I am going to look at it here, right now.

(RETURN TO OPEN COURT)

THE COURT: For that purpose I'm going to receive the Affidavit into evidence and it is to be retained by the court reporter and not for publication other than for the edification of the Court on this particular issue.

MR. FOGLEMAN: Your Honor, as State's Exhibit Two we would offer the Search Warrant Ms. Austin has handed me in regard to Damien Wayne Echols.

THE COURT: All right. State's Exhibits One and Two will be received for the purpose of this hearing and for no other purpose.

[000922]


(STATE'S EXHIBITS ONE AND TWO ARE RECEIVED IN EVIDENCE FOR THIS HEARING)

BY MR. FOGLEMAN:

Q: Have you also at my request brought with you the Affidavit for Search Warrant and the Search Warrant in regard to Charles Jason Baldwin?

A: Yes, sir.

MR. FOGLEMAN: At this time we would offer the Affidavit for Search Warrant as State's Exhibit Three and the Search Warrant as State's Exhibit Four.

MR. WADLEY: Your Honor, we would object to the introduction of these through this witness. These are police records not subject to admission through this witness. They will be subject to admission through the affiant who prepared them. He's present. We would object to them being admitted through Miss Austin.

THE COURT: Were these received in court and you are the clerk of the municipal court?

THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: I assume you're going to call Detective Ridge, as well.

MR. FOGLEMAN: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Subject to that tie-up, I'm going to receive them into evidence. Again, these are not for

[000923]


publication. They're for the Court's edification on the issue at hand, whether or not the items seized are subject to suppression.

(STATE'S EXHIBITS THREE AND FOUR ARE RECEIVED IN EVIDENCE FOR THIS HEARING)

THE COURT: Gentlemen, at some point I assume all of these items, or some of them, would be received into evidence at a trial in chief and you will have a jury there. For right now, they're for my use only.

(WITNESS EXCUSED)