Jason Baldwin, now 31 years old, said he told his lawyers repeatedly during his 1994 trial that he wanted to testify. Baldwin said he could account for his whereabouts over the period from May 5, 1993, when 8-year-olds Michael Moore, Stephen Branch and Christopher Byers went missing, through the next day when their bodies were found in a ditch.
Baldwin said his lawyer, Paul Ford, would respond to Baldwin's request by asking him if he thought the jury had heard anything that might convict him. Baldwin says Ford "just shrugged" him off.
Baldwin was tried along with Damien Echols. Both were convicted of three counts of capital murder. Baldwin received life in prison without parole while Echols was sentenced to death. A third co-defendant, Jessie Misskelley Jr., was tried separately, convicted of murder and sentenced to life plus 40 years.
All three have appealed their sentences. Misskelley also was in court today, but did not take the stand. The hearing is expected to continue Monday.
The Associated Press