WM3 Victim’s Mother Prepares for New Hearing
Updated: Thursday, 03 Mar 2011, 10:02 PM CST
Published : Thursday, 03 Mar 2011, 10:02 PM CST
West Memphis, Ark. - -Pam Hobbs says she is not angry with the convicted WM3 killers anymore.
-Her son and murder victim, Stevie Branch would have been 26 years old.
-Hobbs is set to testify in the new hearing.
May 5th will mark the 18th anniversary of when 3 cub scouts were murdered in West Memphis. For the mother of one of the victim's, she says it's just as much a part of every day conversation, now as it was in 1993.
Pam Hobbs Remembers the Day Her Son Disappeared
Pam Hobbs hasn't spoken publicly about the case in years. She says she took some time to reflect and get perspective. She says its hard to think 18 years has gone by and that her son would now be 26 years old. But the case hasn't gone away, now she's faced with a new hearing and having to relive the event all over again.
Hobbs points to the place where her son's body was found saying, "it's not an ugly patch of woods anymore that used to haunt me." Hobbs says it makes her happy when she re-visits the field where her 8-year old son, Stevie Branch was found dead, in 1993.
Branch and two other boys, 8-year olds Christopher Byers and Michael Moore were found naked and hogtied in a ditch in this field, which used to be a forest.
Hobbs always hoped the landowner would clear the lot and he did.
"Now when I ride by I see a neighborhood before all woods there I didn't want it to happen to another baby," said Hobbs.
Hobbs says she remembers May 5th, 1993 like it was yesterday.
She says her son went riding bikes with the other two second grade boys after school, but never returned home.
"That was my first thought, oh my god he's dead I’ll never see him alive again."
Hobbs says a police report was filed. Then she says she searched all night, with a small group. Neighbors say they last saw the three boys in the woods, which at the time was called Robinhood Hills.
"My thoughts when I walked in was oh god Stevie, you can't be out here, I was screaming his name," said Hobbs.
The next day, Hobbs and her now ex-husband Terry Hobbs were eating at a nearby diner when they say they overheard a police officer saying the bodies of 3 boys had been found in Robinhood Hills.
Hobbs says she remembers running to this field, where the crime scene tape was already set up.
"One look at Stevie's dad, Steve, I know my worst nightmare had come true."
Hobbs Preps for New Hearing, as Witness
Damien Echols is on death row for the murders while Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin are serving life in prison.
In November, the Supreme Court re-opened the case, by granting the three a new evidentiary hearing. Now a Jonesboro judge is getting ready to set a date for that hearing.
Hobbs is expected to be called to testify. She says she's prepared herself.
"It's not gong to be easy I don't' think I've come this far to let it knock me down and keep me down."
Hobbs hadn't had contact with the convicted killers until a court hearing last year, where she briefly spoke to Jason Baldwin about a possible new trial.
"I told him if it was god's will, it would happen and he just told me "thank you."
But Hobbs says she doesn't know how she'll address the three at the upcoming evidentiary hearing, if she will at all.
"I don't know what I would say or how I would react, I really don’t know. I do know I’m not angry with them anymore."
If a judge finds a jury could acquit, based on the new evidence, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley will get a new trial.
"I think our questions are going to be answered I think this is going to be a fair trial. Not only the Mid-South’s but the world's questions will be put to rest. I just want to rest too. I want to be put to rest, let Stevie rest, I’d like for people to always remember that beautiful smile, and I’m honored to be called his mother."
Hobbs’ Plans for the Future
Hobbs started a non-profit called MOMMMY (Mothers of Murdered Missing Youngsters) in 1989. It was designed to help families of murder victims but Hobbs admit she never did much with it, now she has dreams of building it's headquarters in the field where her son's body was found.
A judge is reading over the pre-hearing briefings before setting a new hearing date that could be set for October.