Father of West Memphis 3 changes his opinion - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Reported by Jason Miles

Father of West Memphis 3 changes his opinion

John Mark Byers has never minced words.

"Do you think Terry Hobbs killed your son and the two other boys?" asks Reporter Jason Miles. "In my opinion, I do," says Byers.

The adoptive father of eight-year Christopher Byars has done "a 180." He once praised the convictions of the West Memphis Three. Now, he prays that another man is brought to justice.

"If it takes the last breath in my body, that's my goal," says Byers.

Lawyers for Damien Echols recently announced the discovery of new DNA. It's evidence that puts Terry Hobbs, the step-father of victim Stevie Branch, at the scene of the crime.

"I personally believe that it was a punishment crime that got out of hand," says Byers.

Byers says Hobbs was never properly interrogated. Instead, many suspected he was the killer. Byers admits, his bizarre behavior in a series of documentaries did not help.

"The Mark Byers people saw on TV and in those documentaries, that was not me, this is me," says Byers.

A more enlightened man, he says. A man who has met with attorneys, seen the evidence, and no longer willing to believe everything police tell him.

"I needed to hate somebody at that time in my life and I was blinded by rage, and anger, and grief," says Byers.

To the three men he once condemned, he has this to say:

"That I'm very sorry for the injustice you've endured," says Byers. "For the hardships your families have been through," he adds.

Terry Hobbs has denied any involvement in the killings. Our calls to his attorney tonight were not returned. Meantime, new evidence in the case is under review.


Click here to email Jason Miles.

  • Local/State NewsMore>>

  • Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread message

    Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread message

    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:18 PM EST2018-02-25 04:18:58 GMT
    LSU Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread their message (Source: WAFB)LSU Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread their message (Source: WAFB)
    LSU Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread their message (Source: WAFB)LSU Tigers with Purpose use yoga to spread their message (Source: WAFB)
    Some LSU students are finding their inner purpose through yoga. “It’s something that you just have to be passionate about,” said Meagan Morvant, member of Tigers with Purpose and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). More specifically, these students are Tigers with Purpose. “People don’t’ realize, one that pediatric cancer is different from adult cancer. Adult cancer can’t cure pediatric cancers or treat pediatric cancer...More >>
    Some LSU students are finding their inner purpose through yoga. “It’s something that you just have to be passionate about,” said Meagan Morvant, member of Tigers with Purpose and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). More specifically, these students are Tigers with Purpose. “People don’t’ realize, one that pediatric cancer is different from adult cancer. Adult cancer can’t cure pediatric cancers or treat pediatric cancer...More >>
  • Arrest made in fatal double shooting that left 1 dead, 1 critical

    Arrest made in fatal double shooting that left 1 dead, 1 critical

    Two people were shot Sunday night, leaving one dead, investigators said. The victim who died was identified as Tr'markus Taylor, 20, of Baton Rouge.

    More >>

    Two people were shot Sunday night, leaving one dead, investigators said. The victim who died was identified as Tr'markus Taylor, 20, of Baton Rouge.

    More >>
  • Louisiana Republicans elect first new leader in 14 years

    Louisiana Republicans elect first new leader in 14 years

    Saturday, February 24 2018 3:23 PM EST2018-02-24 20:23:12 GMT
    Louis Gurvich (Source: louisgervich.com)Louis Gurvich (Source: louisgervich.com)

    Louisiana Republicans have chosen their new chairman, a New Orleans businessman who will lead the party as it readies for a heated effort aimed at unseating Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2019.

    More >>

    Louisiana Republicans have chosen their new chairman, a New Orleans businessman who will lead the party as it readies for a heated effort aimed at unseating Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2019.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly