An announcement has just come down from circuit court in Jonesboro, Arkansas, regarding an unexpected hearing in the West Memphis Three case Friday morning.
Here is the announcement:
The court will take up certain matters pertaining to the cases of defendants Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley on Friday, August 19. One session will be conducted out of public presence with all defendants present and another session will be conducted in open court. The session conducted in chambers will likely begin at 10 a.m. followed by a public session which will begin about 11 a.m. Space will be limited for the public session — first to the parties, counsel and court personnel, then to family members of the victims and family members of defendants with remaining seating to be occupied by media representatives and the public. There will be approximately 15 minutes between the chamber session and open session for media and public to be seated. Miss Stephanie Harris, Arkansas Supreme Court communication counsel, will be present on Friday to assist with implementation and will be the court's intermediary with public and press.
A Memphis defense attorney told me off the record that this hearing is expected to be "momentous." Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times has more on the story.
UPDATE: Numerous sources are now citing an Arkansas Department of Corrections spokesperson as saying the three convicted inmates in this case left the maximum security unit "with all their possessions."
WREG is reporting two of the three will be released tomorrow. Their source is reportedly the father of one of the victims. WMC is reporting all three convicted men are in custody of Craighead County deputies.
There is a lot of single-sourced reporting happening and a LOT of speculation on Twitter. My advice would be to wait and see what develops tomorrow.
The best local source for developments in my book is the Arkansas Times.
Also worth a look, if you're willing to pop for $15, is Mara Leveritt's site. Leveritt has covered the case since its beginnings and has written the definitive book on the subject.
UPDATE: The Flyer's Bianca Phillips is in Jonesboro this morning (Friday) and will be filing reports -- and tweeting (@biancaphillips