LITTLE ROCK (CN) – The stepfather of one of three young boys who were murdered in 1993 claims the Dixie Chicks defamed him on their Web site in an open letter which, “when taken as a whole,” accused the man of murdering his stepson and the other boys.
Terry Hobbs was stepfather of Steve Branch, whose body was found, with those of Christopher Byers and Michael Moore, in Crittenden County, Ark., on May 5, 1993.
Three men were convicted of the killings – Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin – and the convictions have not been overturned, Hobbs claims in Pulaski County Court.
The case gained national attention as the “West Memphis Three,” with supporters of the convicted men claiming DNA evidence calls the verdict into question.
Hobbs claims defendant Natalie Pasdar – better known as Natalie Maines – defamed him in the open letter, published on the Dixie Chicks’ Web site on Nov. 26, 2007. He says she repeated the defamation when she spoke at a “Free the West Memphis Three” rally on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol on Dec. 19, 2007.
Hobbs demands punitive damages. He sued Natalie Pasdar individually, and Pasdar and her two bandmates dba the Dixie Chicks. He is represented by J. Cody Hiland of Conway, Ark.