Freed death row inmate to speak at NW Mo. State

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) – A freed death row inmate will kick off the Northwest Missouri State lecture series.

The university says Damien Echols is coming to the Maryville campus on Oct. 17. He and two others, known collectively as the West Memphis Three, spent nearly 18 years in prison after being convicted in the 1993 killings of three Cub Scouts. The boys were found naked and tied up across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tenn.

But after years of questions about the evidence in the case and attention from celebrities, the three men were allowed to plead guilty two years ago to lesser charges in exchange for sentences of the time they’d already served. Echols was the only one facing a death sentence; the other two had been sentenced to life in prison.