New lawsuit in West Memphis 3 case involves the Dixie Chicks - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Reported by Nick Kenney

New lawsuit in West Memphis 3 case involves the Dixie Chicks

Updated:
In December of 2007, lead singer Natalie Maines spoke at a 'Free the West Memphis 3' rally on the steps of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion. In December of 2007, lead singer Natalie Maines spoke at a 'Free the West Memphis 3' rally on the steps of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - A new lawsuit, involving the Dixie Chicks, has been filed in the West Memphis 3 case.

Fifteen years ago, Damien Echols was sentenced to die for the murders of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis.  His co-defendants, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, were sentenced to life in prison.

Echols claims he has proof he and his co-defendants are innocent, and that DNA evidence shows a hair found in the knot used to bind one victim belongs to Terry Hobbs - the stepfather of another victim.

Now Hobbs is suing the Dixie Chicks for what their lead singer said about the case - and Hobbs.

In December of 2007, lead singer Natalie Maines spoke at a 'Free the West Memphis 3' rally on the steps of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.  Weeks earlier, she'd posted a letter on the band's website asking for contributions to the legal defense fund.

In the letter, she implicated Terry Hobbs, the step-father of one of the murdered children.  In part, she wrote, "he washed his clothes and sheets at odd hours for no other reason than to hide evidence from the crime."

Hobbs has always denied involvement in the murders.

"I am not a child killer," he told Action News 5 last August.  "I was a step-parent back then, and we were a family on our feet, doing well."

And now, he's filed his own paperwork, in the form of a complaint against the Dixie Chicks.  Hobbs does not specify an amount, but he's seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Hobbs claims the Dixie Chicks "published malicious, libelous, slanderous, and false statements" about him, and says the statements constitute outrageous conduct that caused emotional distress and put him in a false light.


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