Direct examination

By Mr. Fogleman:

Q: You are detective Bryn Ridge who's previously testified, for the record?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Detective Ridge, I want to direct your attention to May the 10th, 1993. On that day did you have a conversation with the defendant Damien Echols?

A: Yes sir.

Q: And approximately what time did you start talking to him?

A: A little bit before 11:54 A.M.

Q: Alright. I want to show you what I've marked for identification purposes as State's Exhibit 98 and ask if you can identify that.

A: Yes sir, I can.

Q: Alright, what is that?

A: That's a copy of a subject description form filled out on that date.

Q: Alright, and where do you get the information to complete that form?

A: From the person being spoken with.

Q: And is that the form you used in this case in regard to Damien Echols?

A: Yes sir.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, we would offer State's Exhibit 98.


Mr. Davidson: Your Honor, we object to the introduction of any police report.

The Court: If you're trying to introduce the report --

Mr. Fogleman: Subject description form.

The Court: Let me see what it is.


Mr. Davidson: It's a police report. We say it's not admissible. Same ruling it's been all day -- all week.

Mr. Fogleman: I'll just ask him what the contents are.

The Court: You can ask him about the contents, but the document itself is not admissible.

Q: Detective Ridge, did you ask him his name?

A: Yes sir, I did.

Q: Alright, and what did he tell you?

A: He told me his name was Damien Wayne Echols. And also known as Michael Wayne Hutchison.

Q: Did he tell you any alias or nicknames?

A: Yes sir. Alias -- he said his nickname was "Icky."

Q: And what was his date of birth?

A: 12/11 of 74.

Q: And where did he live?

A: 2706 South Grove and Broadway Trailer Park, West Memphis.

Q: And, what was his height and weight?

A: 5 foot 8 inches in height. And weight 175 pounds.

Q: And what tattoos did he have?

A: Okay, he had a tattoo of "Domini" on his right arm. A cross between his thumb and first finger. An Egyptian ankh, he called it. And a pentagram on his chest. And two earrings in his left ear, one earring in his right ear.

Q: Alright. This Egyptian ankh, what does that look like?

A: It's a circle, looks like a stick figure with a cross below that.

Q: And what was on his chest?

A: A pentagram.

Q: And, do you recall which hand the cross was on? And that was between the index finger and the thumb?

A: Yes sir.

Q: And do you remember which hand that was?

A: No sir, I don't remember.

Q: And did he indicate any peculiarities?

A: He was ambidextrous.

Q: And did he indicate where his step-father Jack Echols lived?

A: Yes sir, he said he lived in Lakeshore Trailer Park.

Q: Now, during the course of talking to Mr. Echols, did you ask him who did he think did it? And why? And why would someone do this? Or something to that effect. If you could look through your notes.

A: Yes sir, that's one of several questions that were asked.


A: You want me to refer to my notes?

Q: Yes sir, if you need to.

A: In one area he says, he had an opinion for who could have done the murders as being someone sick and that it was some type of thrill-kill. He also stated that the penis was a symbol of power in his religion, known as Wicca. He also stated that the number three has a sacred number in the belief.

Q: He said what now?

A: The number three has a sacred number -- it was a sacred number in the belief.

Q: To --

A: To the Wiccan belief.

Q: Alright. Which notes are you referring to?

A: The typed report.

Q: Okay.


Mr. Ford: (Inaudible)

The Court: I know what you’re gonna ask him, I’ve already -- I've sustained your motion --

(Bench conference)

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, there is also an order in limine instructing him not to make reference to any cult activity unless they --

The Court: He hasn't done that --

Mr. Ford: That’s what I think they're doing, your Honor, in veiled ways, making references to pentagrams, Egyptian, to Wiccan religion --

Unknown: That's opens the door.

Mr. Ford: They opened the door and they're not allowed to do that based on the order of this court.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, we ask the defendant's own statements --

Mr. Ford: That doesn't make any difference, your Honor. You've made --

The Court: Yeah it does, I'm not gonna --

Mr. Ford: I'll ask for the jury go out, so I can make a record.

The Court: Not right now, we'll do it in a minute. But you're not gonna ask him about the reference he made to --

Mr. Fogleman: No no no, he's not going into --

Mr. Ford: I understand that your Honor, but you've also made a ruling they make no reference to cult activity --

The Court: That's right.

Mr. Ford: -- and they’re doing that.

The Court: -- I'm not considering that cult activity --

Mr. Ford: Wiccan religion --

The Court: I didn't say they couldn't do that. If they were do that then we need a --

Mr. Ford: That's why we need to do it right now, they've just did it.

The Court: I don't think so.

Mr. Ford: They've just did it.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, I --

Mr. Ford: They just did it.

Mr. Fogleman: -- maybe I misunderstood the Court's ruling -- I thought -- I mean that's what his entire statement is almost.

The Court: I'm gonna allow his statement.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, we'd ask for a --

The Court: You wanna have a --

Mr. Ford: -- make a record -- I sure do.

The Court: Alright.

(Return to open court)

The Court: Alright ladies and gentlemen. Step in the back again for a few minutes. Again you're not to discuss the case.

(The jury exits the courtroom)

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, at this time the defendant Baldwin requests that the State be prohibited to continue their line of questioning that's currently proceeding. This Court has entered an order in limine based upon a hearing -- I believe the 16th of February in Osceola, Arkansas -- that the State is prohibited through its attorneys, through its witnesses, to making any reference to cult activity or cult involvement as any type of involvement or motive in this homicide until such time that they can establish in in camera proceeding that such evidence has any causation -- that there is -- I can't lay my hands on the order but if the Court -- it's in the file --

The Court: Yeah I'm familiar with what you're talking about. Basically what the Court's --

Mr. Ford: Your Honor --

The Court: Go ahead.

Mr. Ford: It's our position that what they are doing right this moment with making references to pentagrams, and -- I'm not sure of the name of that Egyptian type tattoo --

Mr. Fogleman: Ankh.

Mr. Ford: -- About his Wiccan religion, and the powers of three, and the symbolism of the power of the penis, that all those things -- that's what they’re doing. And if they're gonna proceed with that they should either be pro stopped until they have met the burden that this Court ordered them to meet.

The Court: Alright, the way I remember my ruling -- in fact we talked about it here at the beginning of the trial -- was that if the State chose to use that to prove motive or possibly to attempt to prove motive that they’d be allowed to do so but until they made that election to attempt to prove it as a motive or possible motive for the crime that we would have a Denno hearing, so I assume that’s what we're doing now.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, what the Court's order states -- the Court's order states that "The Court hereby grants the Defendant's motion in limine with respect to the issue of cult involvement until said time as the Court is convinced in an in camera proceeding that there is competent evidence to establish that the Defendant was involved in an occult or occultic type activities and/or that this crime is indicative of a ritualistic occult killing. That until said evidence has been presented to the Court, the State of Arkansas, its counsel, and witnesses shall make no reference to the Defendant's involvement in an occult and/or occultic type activities or the fact that this is an occult killing. That in the event the State of Arkansas desires to elicit said testimony at trial, an in camera proceeding shall be held in order to determine that a proper foundation can be laid by the State of Arkansas." That’s what they're attempting to do right now.

The Court: Alright, let's hear what --

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, what the order says --

Mr. Ford: I just read it.

Mr. Fogleman: I know, but maybe you don't understand it.

(Fogleman and Ford talking over each other - unintelligible)

Mr. Fogleman: The order says --

The Court: Okay, one at the time.

Mr. Fogleman: The order says, that we won't get into that until "there is competent evidence to establish that the Defendant was involved in an occult or occultic type activities," and slash or, or, "that the crime was indicative of a ritualistic occult killing." The way Mr. Ford drafted the order we either show he's involved in it or it's a ritualistic occult killing, and if it's out of the defendant's own mouth about things related to the occult then --

Mr . Wadley: For starters, your Honor, it's supposed to be done in camera before there's any reference to it and it wasn't done. They go straight to it, your Honor.

Mr. Fogleman: But -- it's not -- in this order it says that we will have that hearing unless there's competent evidence. We're not talking about something -- we've avoided totally another witness referring to the occult. We have totally avoided that. Mr. Price asked some questions related to it, but we have totally avoided it until we got to the defendant's own words.

Mr. Ford: But your Honor, the point is --

Mr. Fogleman: And they establish by competent evidence that he's involved in occultic type activities.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, what evidence has there been to link this young man to it? And that's the purpose of my order. This is a separate trial and this Court has said, You can't do that to this defendant until there is some evidence to link him, and that hasn't been done and that's why we feel our order in limine has been violated and that this Court should prohibit further questioning from this witness or any other witness regardless of who made the statements.

The Court: Can either one of you define "occult" for me?

Mr. Ford: Well we can get Webster's dictionary, your Honor.

The Court: I don't know what an occult is. It sounds like something bad, but I'm not sure what it is.


Mr. Price: Judge, I -- the State has an expert that they've subpoenaed.

The Court: Huh?

Mr. Price: The State has an expert that they've subpoenaed to come testify that this is an occult related killing. I suppose he can explain it to us.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, the fact is, as Mr. Ford's doing all this, the Court's already given the jury an instruction that this evidence -- or evidence is to be taken separately as to each defendant. We're talking about the words out of the defendant's own mouth, Damien Echols.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, if the Court is going to allow them to violate the reference, to violate the motion in limine –- it says you can't make a reference -- that wasn't -- you signed it, it's this Court’s order.

The Court: Alright, I don't feel that any references been made to the, quote, the occult. They've asked him about tattoos, markings on his body, that's just physically there.

Mr. Ford: Pentagram? Pentagram? It's not a related --

The Court: If he's got a pentagram on his chest it's there.

Mr. Ford: I understand that, your Honor, but that is a --

The Court: It could have been a sign that said "Mother" with a heart on it, it's still there.

Mr. Ford: But the Court did not order in limine the State of Arkansas make no reference to the tattoos --

The Court: I'm – I'm finding that they haven't violated the rule by asking the witness to describe what physical features were on the defendant Echols' body. Nor have they violated the rule to ask the witness to describe what the defendant Echols said to them.

Mr. Price: About his belief in the Wiccan religion? That get's into occultism, your Honor.

Mr. Ford: That's the entire reason we had the order --

The Court: I understand that there's some subtle difference between the wiccans and the occults, but now what it is I couldn't tell you. But from what I read in the newspaper that one disavows the other whatever that means.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, the question wasn't related -- the question was, Did he tell you about why someone do it, and did you ask him a question like that and who did you think (?) and what was his response.

Mr. Ford: But your Honor, the taint is to Jason. And to Jason there's no link.

The Court: Well I'll give a cautionary instruction on that as far as -- are you gonna take this any further, I mean are you gonna go into the --

Mr. Ford: If they --

The Court: Wait just a minute, we're having an in camera hearing now for those purposes.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, there is some more that's related to that type of thing, if for right now you want me to restrict it to him telling about how he thinks they died and -- uhm --

The Court: Are you going --

Mr. Price: Judge, is the State now stating that the motive is occult killing?

The Court: That's what I'm trying to ask. Do you plan at any time, now or in the future, in this trial to introduce evidence of occult activity as a possibly motive for the killings?

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, I believe -- we haven't made a final, firm decision but at this point I would say yes.

Mr. Davidson: Your Honor, we would request some knowledge of whether they are or they aren't, or if nothing else judicial economy. You have prevented us from bringing this testimony in. We wanted this testimony in from the beginning to be able to question detective Ridge and everybody else about that. We've been unable to question anybody about this so far, and what it's going to entail is bringing every one of these witnesses back.

The Court: I guess that's what we'll have to do if they propose to use it as a form of motive. Do you anticipate any proof in the case to directly or indirectly link the defendant Jason Baldwin to occult activities?

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, that's something that will have to be talked with -- about the expert. It's my understanding that part of the involvement of somebody deals with obsession with heavy metal music, change in forms of dress, wearing all black and that kind of thing. And, your Honor, I believe the proof would show that he had, I wanna say fifteen black t-shirts with the heavy metal thing, had some kind of an animal, either claws or teeth -- I think they said they were claws -- in his possession.

Mr. Wadley: Judge, that -- first of all, they don't even know what that is. But secondly judge, that's a part -- that's something that the Court has ruled -- in my understanding -- is that that was something, it was not something that was a part of the search warrant and the Court was gonna suppress that.

Mr. Fogleman: The black t-shirts?

Mr. Wadley: No -- this thing, you don't know what it is. You’re talking about that --

Mr. Fogleman: Oh the teeth or claws or whatever it is.

Mr. Wadley: Judge, if it's the State's position that owning black t-shirts with rock bands on them it meets the Court's burden to go above this motion in limine -- is that what you're telling us -- that fact alone is enough?

Mr. Fogleman: You also have, your Honor, the testimony that Michael Carson gave related to the sucking of the blood from the penis, and I think the evidence would show that drinking of blood is something that these people believe gives them power.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, I think it's time that – if they're gonna proceed, that we have this in camera hearing --

The Court: We're having it right now.

Mr. Ford: Well they need to call their witnesses if we're gonna make those --

Mr. Fogleman: He's not here today, your Honor.

Mr. Ford: Then we can't have the in camera proceeding, your Honor, if we can't question the expert.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, our point on detective Ridge was that these are statements that the defendant Damien Echols made himself.

The Court: I'm gonna allow his statements.

Mr. Fogleman: The Court has already given a cautionary instruction that it's to its affect -- or to consider it as to one or the other.

The Court: I'm gonna allow his statements, but if you plan on calling an expert in the occult, whatever it is, then we'll have to conduct an in camera hearing.

Mr .Davidson: So your Honor, if you're ruling they can bring in anything except their expert --

The Court: No that's not what I ruled. I ruled that statements made by your client to this witness are admissible.

Mr. Davidson: What about -- so I know -- what about other witnesses, will we be able to question them on this or will we still be prevented like we have been, from questioning them regarding --

The Court: Based upon their statement that they intend to prove as a possible motivation for the crime occult activities, then I think you can ask witnesses any question you want in that area. But I'm also ruling before I allow any expert witness to testify I wanna hear what he's got to say and we're gonna have another Denno hearing or in camera hearing. You know, motive is something you may be able to prove, you may not be able to prove, you may just come partway on.

Mr. Price: But we'd like to challenge that motive if they're trying to introduce --

The Court: Sure. And I'm gonna allow you to challenge it.

Mr. Ford: Based on the fact that this Court has entered an order prohibiting this type of evidence from being received in the trial against Jason Baldwin, and it's now being received by virtue of the fact that there's a statement made by a co-defendant, we renew our motion for a --

The Court: No.

Mr. Ford: -- severance.

The Court: Alright that will be denied. Any motion -- any statement made by Echols that refers directly or indirectly in any way to co-defendant Jason Baldwin will be stricken. I think there was one reference, and I've ordered you not to go into that and that ruling will still stand. I'll give a cautionary instruction that this testimony -- I hate to dignify it by calling it occult testimony -- but testimony relative to Wicca religion can only be considered to Mr. Echols.

Mr. Ford: That'll be fine, your Honor.

The Court: Alright. What is Wicca? Does anybody --


The Court: Anything else? I'll call them back in and see how much further we can get. And if I didn't rule, I'm ruling that there was no violation of the in limine motion by -- at least to this point.

Unknown: Thank you, your Honor.

(The jury enters the courtroom)

The Court: Alright, ladies and gentlemen, let the Court again remind you that you should consider all of the evidence in this case as in comes in to each defendant separately and individually as if that individual were on trial alone. Do you again recall that? With regard to the testimony just elicited from this witness, the purported statements of the defendant Echols are not to be considered against Baldwin in that regard. Alright, you may proceed. Anything further on that gentleman?

Mr. Ford: That's fine.

Mr. Price: Not at this time judge.

The Court: Alright.

Continued direct examination

By Mr. Fogleman:

Q: Did he tell you anything of how he believed that the children died?

A: He stated that they probably died of mutilation. Some guy had cut up -- cut the bodies up. Heard that they were in the water. They may have drowned. He said at least one was cut up more than the others. Purpose of the killing may have been to scare someone. He believed that it was only one person for fear of squealing by another involved.

Q: Did he tell you anything about -- Your Honor, can we approach the bench a minute?

(Bench conference)

Mr. Fogleman: I don't wanna have to go through all this again. Your Honor, the next question, did he tell him anything about water meaning to him, he says it's got some kind of demonic force or something like that.

Mr. Davidson: Pardon me?

Mr. Fogleman: Water -- it's in the notes.


The Court: Well -- I mean, I tried to make the order broad enough that if they chose to go into it to prove motive that they be allowed to so I'm gonna allow you --

(Multiple voices – unintelligible)

The Court: Well.

Mr. Ford: That is not what it says, your Honor. This says "no reference."

Mr. Fogleman: This isn't any reference to your client.

(Mumbling – unintelligible)

The Court: Well I'm gonna allow it.

(Return to open court)

Q: What, if anything, did he tell you about the fact that water being present?

A: He said water was a demon type symbolism.

Q: And, did he tell you anything about demonic forces?

A: Yes sir, he said that all people have a demonic force in them and that the person would have no control over that demonic force.

Q: Did he -- what he did he tell you -- what, if anything, did he tell you about how he thought that the person felt who would be doing this?

A: He said the person would probably feel good.

Q: Alright. Did he say anything about the fact that the children were young?

A: Yes sir, he said that the younger the children the more innocent they would be, and in turn the more innocent that person would be the more power that would be derived by that killing.

Q: What did he say about doing evil, about how that returns?

A: Doing evil would be returned three times. In other words, that evil done would be returned and revenged three times back to the doer.

Q: Did he tell you which book of the Bible was his favorite book??

A: Yes sir, he said the Book of Revelations.

Q: Did he say anything about whether or not he had any familiarity with the area?

A: With the area Robin Hood Hills?

Q: Yes.


A: I'm not certain.

Q: Alright. Let me ask you this, on your notes -- (someone coughs - unintelligible)

Mr. Price: (Unintelligible?)


The witness: Okay.

Mr. Fogleman: What is that in reference to that statement before you say what he told you?

A: When asking him how someone would have gotten the kids to that area he replied that the person probably knew the kids were out there, or knew the kids and asked them to come out there.

Q: What else did he say about the children?

A: He said that they were not big, they were not smart, and that they would be easy to control.

Q: What, if anything, did he say about the children screaming?

A: Okay he was not -- he said that the person who did the murders would not be worried about the screaming due to their being in the woods and the near expressway where all the cover of sound would be there.

Q: And what else did he tell you about the screaming?

A: They probably wanted to hear it, the person doing the murder.

(Audio stops for 20 seconds)

Q: And did you -- What, if anything, did he say about how the person who did it felt?

A: He said that the person who did the murder probably thinks it's funny, didn't care if he would get caught, and probably wouldn't get caught.

Q: Did he tell you about some -- some things that you might expect to find in the area?

A: Yes sir, he said that we would be looking for stones in the area, candles, a knife, or crystals.

Q: And did he say whether he thought it was somebody -- about where the person might be from?

A: Yes sir, he did. He said that he thinks that it would probably be someone local, and that that person would not run or flee from the area.

Q: And did he tell you who he thinks his favorite authors were?

A: Yes sir, he did. Anton LaVey, a Satanist book, and likes Stephen King novels because they're scary.

Mr. Fogleman: I don't have any further questions, your Honor.


Cross examination

By Mr. Price:

Q: Detective Ridge, on May the 10th when you were talking to Damien Echols, was he a suspect in these murders?

A: Yes sir, he was a suspect.

Q: The questions that you stated some responses to, was there a series of thirty-two questions that y'all had prepared?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright, if you wanna refer to those.


A: I don't have those with me right now.

Q: Alright. I got one copy here. Just a second, your Honor. (Pause) One moment, judge.


Mr. Fogleman: Mr. Price, you want to approach?

Mr. Price: That’s fine.

(Bench conference)

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, the only thing that I wanna say was there is some kind of a sheet related to the FBI kind of thing about what answers mean, and if he attempts to get into that we would object, because that would be hearsay and this officer doesn't know what any answers mean.

Mr. Price: I'd like to see the sheet of the FBI profile judge. It was not provided in the discovery.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, we shouldn't get into --

Unknown: Sure, I'll be glad to.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, based on the statements and the testimony just elicited from this witness in view of the Court's order, that the Court has chosen to disregard, at this time we would move for a mistrial.

The Court: Denied.

Mr. Ford: We also have to renew our motion for a severance.

The Court: Denied.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, if they -- I'll give them a copy of that -- if they do intend to get into that we would object --

Mr. Price: (unintelligible?)

Mr. Fogleman: Okay.

(Return to open court)


(Audio stops for a few seconds)

Q: Detective Ridge, the sheet that we were talking about earlier was a sheet of approximately thirty-two questions that y'all had come up with.

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. Was this a set of questions that was asked to a number of suspects or witnesses in this particular case?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. Do you recall approximately the date that y'all first prepared this particular questionnaire?

A: I didn't prepare the questionnaire. My recollection is that lieutenant Sudbury prepared it.

Q: Alright, do you recall approximately what date it was that this questionnaire was initially written out?

A: Prior to the 10th. I'm not exactly sure when.

Q: Alright. Do you know if there were other individuals that you asked the same thirty-two questions to before you questioned Mr. Echols?

A: Okay sir, you're referring to me using this sheet. Most of the time I did not use this sheet. Lieutenant Sudbury would use this sheet as the interview continued. He would look at those questions and if a response applied to a question that's where he would check it off.

Q: Alright, I notice there's a typed up version that has numbers, one, that appeared, well -- it's not -- let me show you. Take a look at that (inaudible?)

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. That appears to be -- that appears to have all thirty-two questions listed, it looks like there's a lot of them with some of them kind of skip around. So, is it your testimony that during the questioning of Mr. Echols, if y'all would cover a certain question and he'd give an answer related to that question, y'all would write something down about it?

A: Lieutenant Sudbury would.

Q: But it's not something that y'all went directly down all thirty-two questions in chronological order?

A: No sir, I did not.

Q: Alright. I notice one of the questions here -- number nine, says "How do you think they died?" Was that a question that you asked almost everybody that y'all had interviewed?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. Alright, now, I noticed -- during the approximate two-hour interrogation of Mr. Echols, did you ever tape record your conversation?

A: No sir.

Q: And did you ever videotape your conversation?

A: No sir.

Q: Did you ever go back and after you had your written notes, has Mr. Echols to look at them and read them over and sign at the bottom agreeing that this is what he said?

A: No sir, I did not.

Q: I believe you have -- there was a -- the longhand sheet that looks like legal aid paper, about four pages, this was -- were these the notes you were writing as you went along?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. And then later you went back, and I believe you had written out on a investigative report form, the one with the lines on it, approximately three pages, sort of condensing his responses.

A: An outline form, yes sir.

Q: An outline form, okay. And then you went back later and actually had it typed up, a typed up version?

A: I typed it, yes sir.

Q: Okay. But basically, all three of these relate to essentially the same two hour period of time that you interrogated Mr. Echols?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. At the time that you were questioning Mr. Echols on May the 10th, did you think that this was a cult related killing?

A: I thought it was a possibility, yes sir.

Q: Did you also think that this was a sex killing?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. I notice -- another question listed on here, number 10, "Do you believe in God dash the devil." That was a question that you asked Mr. Echols?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. Was that also a question that you asked all the individuals that you interviewed using this particular questionnaire?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Now there were other -- there were some people that you talked to, if you're asking for a particular thing, you didn't go down the full set of questions? Right?

A: I never used the questions per se.

Q: Okay. Alright. I notice another question on here, number 27, "Do you believe in white or black magic." Was that a topic that you covered with -- was that a subject that you covered with Mr. Echols?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright, you had mentioned a few minutes ago that, in your opinion that Mr. Echols, when you were questioning him on May the 10th, was a possible suspect?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. Do you have your type written report, the first paragraph?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Approximately 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, about 8 lines down in the middle of the page where -- middle of the paragraph where it says, "At this point."

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. Please complete that sentence.

A: "At this point Damien was not considered to be a suspect and only general knowledge questions were being asked."

Q: Alright. So, is that your testimony that when you were talking to Damien Echols on May the 10th, he was not a suspect?

A: No sir, I told you he was a suspect.

Q: Okay, but the report indicates that Damien was not considered to be a suspect. Is this in error?

A: May I explain?

Q: Yes sir.

A: Okay. In talking with him, the knowledge he had, the responses he gave to the questions, my belief was he turned that tide to be a suspect.

Q: Alright. So after you questioned Damien Echols on May the 10th, then he became a suspect?

A: Yes sir.

Q: And, at that time when you completed the interview and he was questioned by some other officers, eventually later on, I believe, late that afternoon, early evening, after the entire interrogation completed, Mr. Echols was allowed to go home?

A: That's correct.

Q: After that, did you all begin to do the surveillance on Damien Echols?

A: Surveillance?

Q: Surveillance.

A: I didn't do any surveillance on Damien Echols.

Q: Okay, did the West Memphis Police Department do surveillance on Damien Echols any time after May the 5th, excuse me, May the 10th, 1992?

A: There was one day in which I think there was some surveillance done in order to see if Damien Echols showed up at a place.

Q: Okay. Was that at the skating rink?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. To your knowledge, at the skating rink, would that have been on May the 28th?

A: I'm not certain of the date but that's pretty close I guess.

Q: Okay. You're saying the West Memphis Police Department did surveillance at the skating rink on May the 28th to see if Mr. Echols showed up on that occasion?

A: I did, yes sir.

Q: Okay. And to you knowledge, on that particular occasion, did he show up?

A: Not to my knowledge, no sir.

Q: Alright. Did you also ask a question of Mr. Echols -- I notice one of the form here, "Do you believe in white or black magic?"

A: Yes sir.

Q: I believe that's question number 27.

A: Yes sir.

Q: And that's also a question you asked Mr. Echols?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. You also asked him number 28, "Do you have or own a Bible?"

A: Yes sir.

Q: And that was also a question that you asked him?

A: Yes sir, I think so.

Q: During the entire two-hour interrogation that you had with Mr. Echols, he denied involvement in these murders, is that correct?

A: Yes sir.


Q: And the -- when you asked other individuals, I mean was there -- approximately two hundred other people that y'all questioned using the same thirty-two page questionnaire form?

A: There were many more, yes sir.

Q: Okay. Was there an article published in a West Memphis newspaper about what -- speculating on what the manner and the details of the deaths were?

A: Not to my knowledge, I'm not sure.

Q: Okay. Were there rumors running rampant in West Memphis during this time in May about what happened out at the crime scene?

A: There were all kind of rumors, yes sir.

Q: And did some of these rumors include some of the same things that Mr. Echols told you about during the interrogation? Specifically as to the question number 9 about, "How do you think they died"?

A: Well there were all kinds of rumors of how people thought they died, yes sir.

Q: Okay. I notice on the notes on page number 2, this is on the long hand written about during the middle, "probably died of mutilation." Mr. Echols was not the only person that told you that the children, the kids, probably died of mutilation, was he?

A: No sir.

Q: Okay. And he indicated that he heard that they were in the water? That was also on here?

A: Yes sir.

Q: He stated that there would probably be stones in the area?

A: He said that would be something to look for.

Q: Okay. Now, when you looked at the crime scene during the two or three times you were out there, you never found any stones at the crime scene, did you?

A: No sir.

Q: Okay. He also said there might be candles at the crime scene. Did you ever see any candles at the crime scene?

A: No sir.

Q: He also said there would be knives at the crime scene. Did you see any knives at the crime scene?

A: No sir.

Q: He also said there would be crystals at the crime scene. Did you see any crystals at the crime scene?

A: No sir.


Q: When you're conducting interviews, do you -- is it -- do you get a much more accurate listing of what questions you asked and what questions they -- or what answers a suspect gives if it's tape recorded?

A: A better record?

Q: Yes sir.

A: Yes sir.

Q: And on May the 10th the West Memphis Police Department did have a tape recorder?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. And during this -- during the investigation there were lots of times when the West Memphis Police Department would tape record interviews of various individuals, correct?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. Did the West Memphis Police Department have a photograph of Damien Echols?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. Was this one that they obtained within a day or two of the murders?

A: To my understanding, yes sir.

Q: Okay. Was this based on -- I believe officer Steve Jones and lieutenant Sudbury went out to Damien Echols' house and took a photograph of him?

A: That's my understanding, yes sir.

Q: The purpose of this photograph was for y'all to be able to have his photograph included amongst a group of photographs so that when you’re showing a photographic lineup to possible witnesses, his photograph would be one of the ones included?

A: That's one of several reasons, yes sir.

Q: And during this investigation, did you conduct several photographic lineups with certain witnesses?

A: I wouldn't say several but there were some done.

Q: Some done, alright. And is it your procedure when doing a photographic lineup to write down who all the photographs are that are shown to a particular witness?

A: No sir.

Q: That's not your procedure?

A: That's not my procedure, no sir.

Q: Okay. I mean -- do you have a much better idea of knowing what photographs you show a witness if you write down what photographs you show them?

A: That -- yes sir, it could be.

Q: Is it the policy of the West Memphis Police Department when doing a photographic lineup not to show -- or not to write down what photographs are shown to a witness?

A: Is a policy?

Q: Yes sir.

A: There's no policy of that nature.

Q: Alright. Is there a general procedure?

A: I've never done that -- write down a list of the names on photographs shown to a witness?

Q: Yes sir.

A: No sir, I haven't done that unless an identification is made.

Q: Alright. So if an identification -- if photographs are shown to a witness and they did not identify a photograph, you do not write down the ten or however many photographs that witness is shown?

A: No sir, I do not.

Q: Okay. Would you think that -- if you conduct a -- is one reason that you show a photographic lineup to a witness so they can identify a particular person?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. Is it just as important if you show them a photographic lineup and they don't identify anybody to have that information written down?

A: It's arguably it could be of importance, yes sir.

Q: Okay. Do you recall how many times that you conducted photographic lineups with Damien Echols' picture included in a photo line-up to witnesses?

A: I know of on one occasion that I used his picture.

Q: Okay. On that occasion, did the witness identify Damien Echols?

A: No sir.

Q: Okay. Do you recall what the date was that you showed that possible witness Mr. Echols' photograph along with other photographs?

A: No sir. I believe it was August or September.

Q: And, at the time that you conducted this particular photographic lineup in August or September, did you show that witness -- I mean, did you write down the fact that that witness did not identify Damien Echols?

A: I wrote a statement to that effect, yes sir.

Q: One moment, your Honor. (Pause) Detective Ridge, on the occasion that you showed the individual a photograph of Damien Echols and some other individuals, did you have reason to believe that that individual was an eyewitness to these murders?

A: Not to the murders, no sir.

Q: Not to the murders?

A: No sir.

Q: Okay. Whenever we take the next recess would you – if I ask you to find your notes or any kind of report concerning that particular photographic lineup would you be able to do that?

A: Yes sir, I can.

Q: Alright.

The Court: He can do it right now if you're asking to.

Mr. Price: Well I'd like to see --


Mr. Price: Just a minute judge.


Q: Officer Ridge, I need to go back to an area that we were discussing sometime last week. Do you recall talking to an individual, Kim Williams, asking her if she saw a particular individual between 5:30 and 6:00 P.M. on May the 5th?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. And do you recall that in your report of that conversation you included a statement, "It has been mentioned that during cult activity some members blacken their faces"?

A: Okay sir, you're referring to that to being my report. That is not my report, that's inspector Gitchell's report.

Q: This is inspector Gitchell's report?

A: Yes sir, my report would be the written portion behind that, I think.

Q: Alright. You had interviewed the witness Kim Williams?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay, I believe there -- the handwritten interview here, I believe it was conducted -- the report indicates May the 8th?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. And so once that information was typed up, the additional comments, the statement I just read, that would have been something that inspector Gitchell would have added?

A: I suspect he's the one who put it in there, it wasn't me.

Q: It was not you?

A: No sir.


Q: Inspector Ridge, at the crime scene were there any drawings found on the ground or in the trees?

A: No drawings, no sir.

Q: Okay. Were there initials found on a tree near the crime scene?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. And were those initials "ME"?

A: Yes sir.

Q: My client -- his birth name was Michael Hutchison. Is that correct?

A: I suspect. I'm not sure. That's what he told me, I guess.

Q: Okay. And then he later -- are you aware that he later changed his name to Damien Echols?

A: That's what I understand, yes sir.

Q: Okay, so the initials "ME" could not stand for my client's name because he's never gone by "ME" as his initials. Correct?

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, is Mr. Price testifying or is he asking a question?

Mr. Price: I'm asking a question.

The Court: It's kind of hard to distinguish.

Mr. Price: Alright.

The Court: Okay. Do you know what the initials "ME" stood for?

A: No sir, I do not.

Q: Okay. Did y'all do any kind of test on the tree to indicate how long the initials "ME" had been on the tree?

A: No sir.

Q: Okay, when you examined the crime scene, could you not find any items that were laid out in any pattern?

A: Items laid out in a pattern?

Q: Yes sir.

A: No sir.

Q: Alright. Was it also unknown to you if any cult activity had been reported in the area where the bodies were found on previous occasions?

A: Actually, I did have reports of where people said occult activity had taken place out there.

Q: Do you recall writing a report stating, "It is unknown to me if any cult activity has been reported in the area on previous occasions"?

A: I don't recall the report but I'll look at it.

Q: Alright. Question number 2.


A: Okay.

Q: Is the statement that I stated, is that contained in the report? (Pause) Is the statement that I read contained in that report?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Were there any slabs or logs that were found in the area?

A: Yes sir, there were logs there.

Q: There were logs there?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Are you referring to the sticks that have been previously introduced into evidence?

A: It's a wooded area, there are logs in the area.

Q: Did you previously write in a report, "No slab or log was found to be in the area"?

A: In that report -- you need to take the question, the response in context to the question.

Q: Alright. Question number 6, "Were there any indicators of a slab or a log device present at the scene?" Answer by Ridge: "No slab or log was found to be in the area."

A: Okay sir. At the scene.

Q: The sticks that were introduced into evidence earlier, particularly this larger stick right here, were there other sticks like this out there at the crime scene?

A: Yes sir, there were.

Q: Okay. Do you recall approximately how many?

A: I know of one more that was there at the crime scene.

Q: And was this on -- I believe your testimony, July 1st, when you went back out to the crime scene?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. Were there other sticks out there on July 1st or are you talking about May the 5th?

A: That stick and another stick was there on May the 5th, or the 6th, excuse me, and that stick and the other stick was there on July the 1st.

Q: Are there other sticks that were out at the crime scene similar to that stick?

A: Similar to this one? Not there at the crime scene, no sir.

Q: Okay. How about in the woods?

A: In the woods, yes sir.

Q: Alright.

The Court: Anybody ready for a break?

Mr. Price: Yes sir, whenever you are, judge.

The Court: Alright ladies and gentlemen, with the usual admonition not to discuss the case you may take a 10 to 15 minute recess.

(Audio stops, then begins)

Q: Detective Ridge, a lot of the questions that you were asking Mr. Echols on May the 10th, were you trying to find out what his beliefs are and that sort of thing?

A: (Unintelligible) -- information about what his beliefs were, yes sir.

Q: Okay. And he said that water was a demonic symbol -- (Unintelligible) -- Did he ever say that he thought these murders were somehow demonic murders?

A: When his response to -- why the penis would have been cut off, or he believed that it was cut off, was that that satanic in nature.

Q: Alright, did you tell him at that time that the penis was not cut off?

A: No sir, I did not.

Q: Okay. I know, the question number 19 -- his answer -- or the question was, "Have you ever wondered what it would be like to kill someone even if you didn’t go through with it?" And I believe the answer is on 19, "Only out of anger. To beat someone up. Whatever you do comes back to you three times, so does good."

A: I remember that portion. I don't have that typed response to that question.

Q: Okay. Alright, did you ask him two different questions about, if -- why would his fingerprints be out at the scene? Question number 29 states, "Why would your fingerprints be at the scene?"

A: Yes sir. I didn't ask him that question, lieutenant Sudbury may have.

Q: Okay. Did you or lieutenant Sudbury tell Mr. Echols that y'all didn’t find any fingerprints out at the crime scene?

A: No sir, we didn't.

Q: Okay. And Mr. Echols indicated to you that he had never been out in the Turtle Hill woods?

A: I'm not certain if he indicated he had been there or not.

Q: Alright, well, if I can approach the witness, your Honor. Question 20 (inaudible?) Sudbury's response to 20.

A: Yes sir, he typed that he had never been in the woods.

Q: Also, question number 12 on the questionnaire dealt with, "Where were you on Wednesday May the 5th, 1993, between 6 P.M. and 10 P.M.?"

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. Did you ask Mr. Echols where he was after 10 P.M.?

A: On the first page of the handwritten notes it begins with Tuesday. These are the questions that I asked him. I asked his recollection of where he was at Tuesday. Where he was on Wednesday. And he explains to me that shortly after he returned from the Sanders on a visit, he had gotten on the phone with Holly George and talked with her until 11:30 P.M. and was there the rest of the night.

Q: Okay. Specifically, as far as the question that is type written, "Where were you on Wednesday May the 5th between 6 P.M. and 10 P.M.?" Was that a time period that you asked most of the suspects that y'all interviewed during this investigation?

A: Again, I didn't use that questionnaire.

Q: Do you recall if you asked any of the suspects where they were between 1 A.M. and 5 or 6 A.M. on May the 6th?

A: I don't remember asking anybody that specific question, no sir.

Q: Okay, thank you. And when you asked him about what his favorite book of the Bible was, that's when he told you Revelations was?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay, and did you -- was that a question that you asked other suspects in this case?

A: I don't remember asking that of anybody else, no sir.

Q: Okay.


Q: Do you recall if -- lieutenant Sudbury had questioned Mr. Echols the day before on May the 9th and asked these same thirty-two questions?

A: I don't know if lieutenant Sudbury asked those questions.

Q: Do you recall if Mr. Echols was at the Police Department on May the 9th being interrogated by the West Memphis Police Department?

A: Not at the police department, I don't think that took place.

Q: Okay. Did it take place someplace else?

A: I understand that it took place somewhere else, yes sir.

Q: Okay.


Q: One moment, your Honor. (Pause) When Mr. Echols -- you asked him something to the effect of, what type of books did he enjoy reading?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. And he told you, I think, it was Anton LaVey and Stephen King?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. In your opinion, is there anything unusual about those being the type of books that Mr. Echols likes to read?

A: Anton LaVey is a book of Satanic rules and involvement. Stephen King seems to be horror movies, horror books, and if you're asking if I felt that was strange, yes sir, I did.

Q: Alright. As part of your investigation did you have a search warrant executed on the Crittenden County Library to find out what library books Damien Echols has been reading?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay. Was this also part of the -- your theory to see if this was some type of cult related killing?

A: It was an effort to find out what type of books that Damien had been reading.

Q: Matter of fact, was this something that was suggested by your -- the expert that y'all had consulted in this case?

A: Not to me, no sir.

Q: Okay. You did have an affidavit for a search warrant that was executed before Judge Pal Rainey. Is that correct?

A: For the books?

Q: For the books, yes.

A: Yes.

Q: And in that you signed an affidavit which in part states, "The murders appear to have been influenced by cult beliefs or religion."

A: Yes sir.

Q: Is that the statement that is contained in the -- one of the statements in the affidavit?

A: I -- if that's what you’re reading, yes sir.

Q: If I can approach the witness. Bottom paragraph, first line.

A: Yes sir.

Q: So it's –- is your opinion that the murders were – appear to have been influenced by cult beliefs or religion, but there was nothing -– was there anything found at the crime scene indicating that this has been a cult killing?

A: Yes sir, I would say so.

Q: Alright. And what was that?

A: Do you want me to answer that question?

Q: I want you to say what you found out at the crime scene that indicated that this was a cult related killing.

A: Okay sir.

Mr. Ford: Approach the bench?

The Court: Alright.

(Bench conference)

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, at this point that court order is not worth the piece of paper it's written on with the way things proceeding. And now he's going in to start making his personal beliefs. This is was beyond the pale, your Honor. And I am sitting over here helpless, and your court order, and you're not helping me. It's your order, judge.

The Court: I told you that if they chose to prove motive and attempted to do so I was gonna allow them to do it.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, that's not what your order states. Your order says that if they continue to do it, they gotta have an in camera hearing to show that there's any validity to that belief.

The Court: We had an in camera hearing --

Mr. Ford: Where? Where was the --

(Multiple voices – unintelligible)

Mr. Ford: I asked for an in camera hearing to be conducted and you would not allow that to occur.

The Court: No that's not --

Mr. Ford: Yes sir.

The Court: -- correct at all. We had an in camera hearing.

Mr. Ford: No sir. The expert was not here. You asked him was he gonna go into it. He said he didn't know, he might --

The Court: I said we'd have to have an additional in camera hearing before the expert came.

Mr Ford: Your Honor, at this point in time, this guy up here's fixing to put forward his personal opinion.

The Court: I don't have any idea what he's getting ready to say.

(Multiple voices – unintelligible)

Mr. Fogleman -- the record --

Mr. Ford: Can I finish my record?

Mr. Fogleman: You --

Mr. Ford: Can I finish?

Mr Fogleman: I want the record to be clear that the people asking the questions are the defendant Damien Echols, and not the State.

Mr. Ford: But your Honor, you're allowing them to proceed it. I'm the one who's got an order that's being violated right now by both counsel for Echols and counsel for the State.

Mr. Fogleman: None of it relates to your client so far.

Mr. Ford: That's the whole idea. That's the whole idea --

(Multiple voices – unintelligible)

The Court: I've given a cautionary instruction that it doesn't relate to your client.

Mr. Wadley: Judge, we are way beyond that -- (mumbling)

Mr. Fogleman: Why didn't you object to the questions?

Mr. Ford: That's what we’re doing right now.

The Court: You're objecting to the question?

Mr. Ford: We're objecting to this question, the entire line of questioning. 'Cause there is no foundation laid and our court order is being violated. That John Fogleman approved --

The Court: It's not being violated --

Mr. Ford: Yes sir, it is. He approved this order, judge. John Fogleman approved that order, his signature is on it.

The Court: Alright here's what we will do this -- Alright ladies and gentlemen, you may step back in to the back.

(The jury exits the courtroom)

Alright, let the record reflect that this is a hearing out of the presence of the jury. Alright gentlemen, this is the second time we've moved the jury out of the courtroom and -- so whatever record you wanna make.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, this court entered an order stating that the State of Arkansas, its counsels and witnesses would be prohibited from going into the occultic nature of any motive, or that this was an occult type killing until they can establish in camera that that -- there's a basis for that. Your Honor, the State and counsel for Echols have violated that order. You have allowed that violation despite our objections. There has been no testimony to establish that there is any rational basis for the opinions that this witness is trying to espouse about this being an occult killing, that it's motivated by the occult, that there were symbols found outside out there. He's not qualified. Their guy that they wanna bring him here to do these things, he's not here. He's not here.

The Court: We'll have another hearing before he testifies.

Mr. Ford: Well then until that happens, your Honor, we don't want anymore of this -- you're allowing things to come into the jury room --

The Court: I made a ruling a while ago when we had the other in camera hearing that they had not violated the motion in limine, that the direct statements attributable to Damien Echols were admissible, and it'll be my finding that those statements could give a jury some rational basis for assigning motive.

Mr. Wadley: Your Honor --

The Court: And that's the only reason any of this stuff is even relevant in the first place.

Mr. Wadley: Judge, this witness has -- there's been no foundation laid that he's qualified to give any opinion.

The Court: I don't know if he's given any opinion.

Mr. Wadley: Judge, he's given several opinions, as to whether or not he thinks it's a cult killing.

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, the State has not asked --

The Court: I think Mr. Price asked him if he had an opinion, and he gave that opinion and you didn't object to it.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, --

The Court: Well, you didn't object -- Val's the one that asked him if he had an opinion, so --

Mr. Ford: That's because you've already --

The Court: -- no -- well, yes.

Mr. Ford: -- basically said, I don't care what my previous court order says, I'm gonna let him do --

The Court: That's not what I said. I said that they could describe his physical characteristics, which they did. That they could introduce the statements attributable to Mr. Echols, which they did. And I also said that at that point I felt like, and I asked, off the record, Mr. Fogleman if he intended to prove occult or, whatever, as a motive, a potential motive, or possible motive for this crime. And he said, Yes that he did.

Mr. Wadley: Judge, he said --

Mr. Ford: That's not -- we're entitled to our in camera --

The Court: You were having your in camera hearing.

Mr. Wadley: Your Honor --

Mr. Ford: He did not -- we didn't get to question a single witness who has any knowledge of the occult and this record clearly reflects that.

Mr. Wadley: Mr. Fogleman said, your Honor, he didn't know what he was gonna do. He didn't say he was gonna do it, he said his decision at that time --

The Court: And I also told you, before they put a so-called expert on the occult that we'll have an additional in camera hearing.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, We ask that his opinions be stricken, and that he not be allowed to give his opinions unless he's a so-called expert.

Mr. Wadley: There's no foundation.

The Court: I'll sustain your objection to this witness giving an opinion as to whether or not it was an occult killing --

Mr. Price: Judge --

The Court: -- if that's what you're asking.

Mr. Price: On behalf of Mr. Echols we object to that. We have this officer signed an affidavit stating his belief, "The murders appear to have been influenced by cult beliefs or religion." It's our position that these are not cult related killings, but we are entitled to put on our defense --

The Court: Fine, --

Mr. Price: -- and attack the --

The Court: -- put it on. But I'm not gonna allow you to ask him if he has an opinion on it.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, we object to him doing that because our court order says that -- you said you're not gonna allow it.

The Court: You're all not gonna whips on me back and forth on this issue and I'm not gonna grant a severance and you know the ruling, let's proceed. If you want another hearing before the so-called expert testifies I'll give you that.

Mr. Ford: Well then, your Honor, until that time we'd ask that -- they elicited all the statements, that are out -- that they --

The Court: I don't know any trial where I wouldn't let the prosecution put on the statements of an accused. They were limited in that they could not put on any statement by Mr. Echols that linked Mr. Baldwin to anything. They were precluded from doing that.

Mr. Ford: The record that was made in Osceola --

The Court: Yeah.

Mr. Ford: -- that led to this court order that we're arguing about discuss these very statements.

The Court: Well, the record's gonna show --

Mr. Ford: And then you say --

The Court: We had a hearing not more than an hour ago out of the presence on the ju-- of the jury, and I ruled that they could ask those questions.

Mr. Wadley: Your Honor, now that we're beyond -- this officer testifying about what Mr. Echols' statements are. Now that we're beyond that, can they be refrained from going into this? It's beyond -- now the court order certainly is full force --

The Court: What is it you wanna go into, Val?

Mr. Price: I wanna find out -- today is the first day I'm aware of a conclusion that the murders appear to have been influenced by cult beliefs or religion. We've had five days of testimony, the State hadn't put any of that on. I would like to know --

The Court: They made no effort to do so until today and then the only effort I saw, if you can even call it an effort, was asking a witness to describe the physical characteristics of the defendant which included some tattoos or markings on his body --

Mr. Price: But the last question I asked --

The Court: -- to me that didn't go into the occult.

Mr. Price: The last question I asked the officer, What physical evidence at the crime scene dealt with this being an occult killing, and that's when the objection was made. And I think I'm entitled --

The Court: You wanna ask him, we're making an offer of proof, let me say what he's got to say.

Unknown: What --

The Court: Ask him.

Mr. Price: Alright. Officer Ridge, what -- I believe the last question that I had asked was if there was any evidence out at the crime scene that indicated that this was a cult related killing. And I believe you haven't answered -- go ahead and give you answer.

The Court: You asked if you're sure you want him to answer that, or something like that before he did it.

Mr. Price: That's fine.

A: Several indications at the crime scene convinced me that it is a cult related killing. One of those being the fact that it was an overkill. The fact there was way more injuries than was necessary to actually kill the children. There was torture involved. The removal of the penis, a penis is a symbol of power according to Damien's own statement. Placement in water. Water is -- has satanic symbolism according to Damien's own statement. The eight year-olds --

(gap in audio)

A: -- are that items are to be returned three-fold, three as a satanic importance and symbolism. Crossroads area meaning neither in the middle of a community but nor in the extremes of nature. It's sort of a neither in the city or out of the city. Neither public nor completely private. Cult meetings -- most cult meetings or rituals are held in deserted isolated areas, wooded areas away from people. In blood rituals, many times parts of the victim are removed, possible eaten, or kept for use in other ways. The notation being that the penis was not found. The bodies were in the nude, the satanic term for that would be "skyclad." Stab wounds, patterns, may have been done for the purpose of bloodletting. Incisions to the sex organs or mutilations, cuts and bruises. Being a clean site, satanic or occult symbolism would mean that a clean site would have been noted. Injury patterns -- most sites would be on private property, this is private property, it's not public property, not normally travelled. The mutilation. Sex organs will be mutilated or removed. Their victims will be males, penis or testicles will be removed. The eyes will be gouged --

Mr. Ford: Is he -- is it -- are these his opinions or someone, someone that has given information to you?

A: These are some notes I've taken from some research I've done in the occult.

Mr. Ford: Is he gonna be established as an expert in the occult?

The Court: If you're objecting to his testimony I'm not gonna allow it.

Mr. Ford: I'm objecting to this testimony. Every word of it.

The Court: I'm not gonna allow it at this time. It may be at a point in the trial where I will allow it. I can rule, based on what I've heard already, that the probative value of the occult or so-called occult testimony outweighs any possible prejudice. That the State at this point is entitled to prove motivation if they can, and if it's their choice to attempt to prove motivation as a means of an occult or satanic or ritual, or whatever, even just the motivation was as a result of the belief and -- some unnatural -- then I'm gonna allow him to do that. But if you're objecting to this particular witness testifying to his opinions or conclusions, then I'm gonna sustain the objection.

Mr. Ford: I am your Honor, but are you saying that based on his opinions you're reaching that ruling? What evidence are --

The Court: No.

Mr. Ford -- you reaching that ruling on?

The Court: Based upon the information that was put into evidence. Based on what they found about Mr. Echols and his comments and responses to the questions asked of him. I think that's sufficient to open a reasonable person's mind.

Mr. Ford: Even to Jason Baldwin --

The Court: No, I've already ruled it doesn't apply to Jason Baldwin until it's connected in some way. So, I mean, I really don't understand why you're objecting, because I have ruled it doesn't apply to your client, and you can argue that to the jury.

Mr. Ford: Okay.

The Court: I mean, I've instructed them, I'll be prepared to instruct them again --

Mr. Wadley: (We'd like for you?) to instruct the jury --

The Court: Well, I hate to keep doing that because I have to think very carefully so I don't comment on the evidence, and I don't want any comment on the evidence, so if you got some suggestion how you want me to phrase a cautionary instruction --

Mr. Wadley: I'm not asking for a cautionary-- no your Honor, I didn't get a chance to finish. I'm asking -- this man has given an opinion, and the Court's stated that it's not gonna allow him to give an opinion.

The Court: That's right.

Mr. Wadley: And the Court -- it bars the jury that he --

The Court: The jury ain't heard all that garbage -- all that stu--

Mr. Ford: (Unintelligible)

Mr. Wadley: Judge, they heard his opinion.

The Court: Well. Now, he was asked directly, without objection, whether or not he had an opinion to whether or not these deaths were cult related. There was no objection made, he responded. There was no objection made until long after that response as a matter of fact.

Mr. Wadley: Is that why the Court is denying that request?

The Court: Now wait a minute, what request?

Mr. Wadley: Is that why the Court's denying our request that the jury be instructed to disregard his opinion? Because we didn't object?

The Court: Well yeah as far as I know that's the only opinion he expressed and it wasn't objected to at that time.

Mr. Wadley: That's the Court's ruling?

The Court: Yeah. I'm sustaining your objection to this last line of conclusionary statements he made as a basis of research. Although it's possible he could be, based upon research and investigation, be allowed to give such opinion. Do you request -- my question is, do you want me to give the jury a cautionary instruction about occult activity as it relates to Baldwin?

Mr. Ford: Yes.

The Court: Pardon?

Mr. Ford: Yes we would.

The Court: How do you wanna draft that cautionary instruction?

Mr. Ford: They're to disregard any of the evidence which has been elicited from this witness as it pertains to Damien Echols and the questions asked by Mr. Val Price as they do not related to Jason Baldwin.

The Court: Well --

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, I think that would be until it --

Mr. Ford: (Unintelligible?)

The Court: Well, I mean, that's certainly not (?) because there may be some time in the course of the trial where everything has been elicited could probably be considered toward him. I don't know. I'll remind them that they must consider the evidence against each defendant as separate and independent to that --

Mr. Ford: Will you instruct them that the evidence that was just elicited from this witness only pertains to Damien Echols? You did that earlier when the statements were from Michael Carson, that they were not to be considered as to Damien Echols, and now we would ask that they not be considered --

The Court: I did it on this witness' testimony right before he started testifying.

Mr. Ford: We're just asking that they be reminded that this testimony is not to be considered as evidence against Jason Baldwin.

Mr. Fogleman: At this time.

Mr. Ford: We don't wanna say "at this time."

The Court: That'll imply that at some later time it could be, which --

Mr. Fogleman: Well, it could be at some later point.

Mr. Wadley: Judge, they have to -- if the order means anything, your Honor, they have to lay a foundation for this Court to cause some kind of - (Burnett coughs - unintelligible) - twenty-two. They haven't done that yet, and until that happens they should be instructed if they do that.

The Court: Alright.

Mr. Wadley: That applies --

Mr. Fogleman: We didn't ask the questions, your Honor.

The Court: Alright. Val, I'm not gonna let you ask the questions either, on his opinion.

Mr. Ford: Thank you, your Honor.

Mr. Price: Judge, I would object to that. I think my client's entitled to -- that violates his right to confrontation of witnesses. If this witness is alleging, and the West Memphis Police Department is alleging it's a cult related killing, it's our position it's not, we're entitled to know what the basis of the opinion is so we can try to knock (?).

The Court: You're not even entitled to elicit an opinion from the West Memphis Police Department as to what they think the cause of the murder was.

Mr. Price: Judge, if that --

(Multiple voices – unintelligible)

Mr. Wadley; -- should tell the jury that they should consider that, judge.

Mr. Price: Judge, if they put in an affidavit of a search warrant it's a cult related killing, we're not entitled to know what the basis of that is?

Mr. Fogleman: He could have filed a motion to suppress, your Honor.

Mr. Ford: You can't suppress the affidavit.

Mr. Fogleman: (?) the warrant.

Mr. Price: We don't wanna suppress it, we just wanna find out what the basis of it is. We're not objecting to the fact that my client checked out a book on magik and a book on Cotton Mather on witchcraft. He was a Puritan minister that was opposed to witches in the 17th century.

The Court: How much longer do you have with this witness?

Mr. Price: Uhm, one moment, your Honor.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, I -- and I (?) with respect to these questions, I think we raised an objection before that ever occurred, and that objection went to the entire -- everything that related to occult activity. I think that objection suffices. 'Cause I don't think when you're objecting to a line of questioning that's gonna begin, that objection covers everything, and based on that objection, your Honor, we would ask that they be instructed to disregard the opinion, because we objected -- we objected to the entire line of questioning.

The Court: Well, the witness' opinion is not -- he's not been qualified as an expert in an occult killing or matters of that nature.

Mr. Price: Judge --

Mr. Ford: Could the jury be told that, your Honor?

Mr. Davis: Judge, does anybody even remember what opinion it is that they're objecting to now?

The Court: The opinion was that he was asked a question, "do you have an opinion as to the cause of these deaths," and he said -- "or do you believe" -- "do you have an opinion as to whether or not it was cult related," I think it's the way it was phrased.

Mr. Price: I believe I qualified him by --

Mr. Ford: You did ask that question and now the question is -- and now the question on the board I believe is that, "what did you find out there" -- "did you find anything out there at the scene."

The Court: And he said "No" and then he said "Yes" and then he said "Do you really want me to tell you," and then he started looking for notes, and then you all objected and then we started this line.

Mr. Davis: Your Honor, as I understand it, that second line of questioning was clearly -- the Court's already said, you can't go into that, this was just a proffer. The first opinion, as I understand it, we've got a law enforcement officer who was asked his opinion and gave his opinion as to a possible cause or motive for the killing of the children, and he's a law enforcement officer with I don't know how many years of experience, training, investigative skills, and when he's asked that question and gives an opinion I don't see, number one, why it's objectionable and why the jury should be told to disregard it.

Mr. Wadley: The Court's already said it's not proper. That's what you said, your Honor. You said that question--

The Court: No, I didn't say that.

Mr. Wadley -- he's not qualified to give that opinion.

The Court: I said he's not qualified to give an opinion on the occult, but he was asked whether or not he had an opinion and whether it was -- everybody in this room's got an opinion.

Mr. Wadley: Your Honor, his opinion -- judge, if he's not a -- if he's not qualified to give an opinion as to the occult, how can he give an opinion, your Honor, that this was a cult related killing?

The Court: Alright, if you had objected I'd have sustained.

Mr. Wadley: Judge, I think that we have --

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, I think our --

Mr. Wadley: -- objected properly.

Mr. Ford: -- objection. We've objected to the entire line of questioning.

The Court: Well, I'm not giving you a blanket objection, if you got an objection you better stand up and make it to preserve your right. I told you y'all in the beginning there wouldn't be any blanket objections because if I don't -- I mean -- as much stuff that y'all brought up I can't remember one issue from the next. So you better bring it up if you want me to rule on it.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, that's what we thought we had a (?) for.

The Court: Well, I -- alright, let's bring the jury back in.

Mr. Price: Judge, one other question that I wanna ask as part of the proffer. I wanna ask the officer what was the date that he came to his conclusion that he's just stated. If this was an opinion that he had.

The Court: Alright, go ahead.

Mr. Price: Officer -- detective Ridge, when was it -- what was the date that you came to the conclusion that you just stated in that answer?

A: I can't give it a date, I had that opinion for some time and I put these notes together.

Q: Obviously, we've never seen a copy of the notes that you're referring to. Was this an opinion you had prior to the time that Mr. Echols was arrested, or was it an opinion you had during Jessie Misskelley's trial, or sometime in between?

A: It's an opinion I've had since close to the near -- the beginning of the murder trial on certain points. Research has continued and I felt that other points of the crime scene have applied.

The Court: Do you have any more witnesses after this one for the day?

Unknown: No, your Honor.

The Court: Tell the jury to report back at 9:30 in the morning.


The Court: Alright gentlemen, let's --

Mr. Price: A couple of more questions to clarify this.

The Court: Alright, go ahead.

Mr. Ford: Your Honor, can we have our cautionary instruction before they go home? And (?) around all night long that this applies to Jason Baldwin when it doesn't.

The Court: I've already given that once. And with regard to this witness' testimony.

Mr. Ford: But, your Honor, you -- when Michael Carson testified you told the jury not to consider it against Damien Echols.

The Court: I told them that on -- with this witness.

Mr. Ford: You did not tell them not to -- your said, consider it separately. You never said you can't consider this as evidence against Jason Baldwin. you did not say that.

The Court: I don't think you're correct. I think I did.

Mr. Ford: You didn't mention his name when I was listening.

The Court: Well, we'll check that. If I didn't I'll do it tomorrow.


The Court: Got anything else?

Mr. Price: Yes sir. Just to clarify your last sentence that (Unintelligible?) -- wrote down the wrong thing. Detective Ridge, you indicated that you reached this opinion early on in the -- I mean, before the trial started or before --

Unidentified female: (inaudible)

Mr. Price: -- time of the murders or --

Mr. Wadley: Wait a minute. The door's come -- how much for an in camera hearing, your Honor, when the door's open and closing and jury members going in and out.

The Court: Alright, the door's opened three times. It's closed now, let's proceed.

Mr. Price: I was confused about the last answer.

The Court: Hang on a minute, let them get their stuff out. (Pause) Alright, let the record reflect that the door's closed again.

Mr. Price: Alright, detective Ridge, when was it that you reached the opinion that this was a cult related murder?

A: Early on in the investigation elements were there that pointed to an occult killing.

Q: Alright, one moment, your Honor. Alright. Detective Ridge, you mentioned that you had been doing some research about this. Could you tell me what the individuals that you talked to in doing your research or certain books that you've read?

A: There's been some books and some handouts and some literature from other departments on --

Mr Price: Okay.

A: -- occult.

Q: Was one of the literature satanic cult awareness?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Okay, this was one -- can you recall what the other literature handouts that you looked at?

A: There's some different books that I've scanned through.

Q: Okay. Was one of them a book about occult crimes?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Alright. Kind of a black book?

A: Yes sir.

Q: I think I put this -- this book right here, "Occult Crimes" by William Edward Lee Dubois?

A: Yes sir.

Q: (?) can you read the warning on the inside label?

A: (Reading): "Because of its privileged subject matter this book is intended for the law enforcement community only. Its sole purpose is to help law enforcement officers detect and investigate and verify occult, and every effort should be made to protect it and the information contained in it. General knowledge of this information can negatively affect officers' safety and investigative effectiveness. This book is intended to serve both as a training manual and as a field handbook, and covers virtually every specialized aspect of occult crimes. It is not available to, and in no way intended for, the general public."

Q: And also as part of your research, did you read some materials written by doctor Dale Griffis? I think one of those was "The Four Faces of Satan."

A: No sir, I didn't read that.

Q: Okay, did you read any publications by doctor Dale Griffis?

A: Not that I can recall, no sir.

Q: Did you consult with doctor Dale Griffis, the expert that's listed on the State's witness list, in forming your opinion?

A: In forming my opinion?

Q: Yes sir.

A: I have conferred with him and he has reinforced my opinion.

Q: Okay. Has he -- has he come up with any kind of report in connection with his opinion -- is it his opinion that this is a cult related killing?

A: He hasn't related that to me, no sir.

Mr. Ford: Is there a report?

A: I don't know.

The Court: Do you have a report?

Mr. Fogleman: No.

The Court: Anything else?

Mr. Price: No further questions at this time, your Honor.

The Court: I wanna get this over with once and for all. Do you intend to prove, or attempt to prove motive? And will that motive be -- one possible motive at least, an occult or satanic murder?

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, all I can say at this point is that unless something changes, we do. At this point, with the stage of the testimony I would say yes, but I -- I mean, something might happen and we may not be able to have our expert here, but uhm --

The Court: When do you plan to have him here?

Mr. Fogleman: He's supposed to be here tomorrow.

The Court: Can we not finish officer Ridge's testimony on matters that relate to evidence of an occult or whatever, until after you've attempted to put on expert testimony, and I assume that you're gonna relate facts of the case to the expert and then I assume further that he'll have an expert opinion. Is that what you're wanting to do?

Mr. Wadley: Has he given an opinion?

Mr. Fogleman: Your Honor, he is -- I would not tell him anything about any of the suspects at this point. And, just gave him information related to the crime. And, it's my understanding that with -- after his review of the autopsy reports, autopsy photographs, crime scene photographs, and along with the testimony of Michael Carson -- or relating to him hypothetically that testimony of blood being sucked out of penis, that it's my understanding that he would give an opinion that it is an occult related crime.

Mr. Wadley: That is your expert's opinion?

Mr. Fogleman: That's what I said my understanding is.

Mr. Wadley: And is that in the form of a written report he's given to you?

Mr. Fogleman: No, I just said there's no written report.

Mr. Wadley: He's told you that?

The Court: Well, we'll have a Denno hearing when he gets here and then see, and if he gives such an opinion, gentlemen, then I'm gonna let officer Ridge testify to everything he's just said, except in the form of his own personal opinion.
Mr. Ford: Judge, to be able to do that when they cannot establish any involvement of Jason in that type of activity. The order says they've also got to do that.

The Court: Well --

Mr. Ford: He's got to show that he's involved --

The Court: As I recall the testimony of Mr. Carson that directly involved Mr. Baldwin in conduct of that nature that a jury could reasonable draw the conclusion.

Mr. Ford: You're stating that you believe -- that you're ruling that --

The Court: No, I'm not saying I believe anything. I'm saying that there is evidence that a jury could conclude these facts occurred. That's all I'm saying.

Mr. Ford: It's your ruling that it would be a reasonable deduction of the jury to take Michael Carson's testimony and --

The Court: And apply it to the other facts and draw that conclusion.

Mr. Ford: -- apply that to say that Jason Baldwin is involved in the occult. Is that the Court's ruling?

The Court: I'm saying that a reasonable jury could draw those conclusions. If that serves to be his opinion. I don't know whether it will be or not.

Mr. Wadley: Your Honor, did I understand that this opinion Mr. Fogleman says his expert's reached, he hasn't reviewed any of the -- he hasn't reviewed the facts in the case? Is that what you stated?

Mr. Fogleman: No I didn't say that.

Mr. Wadley: What did you say? I may have missed that.

Mr. Fogleman: I said that he has reviewed the autopsy reports, autopsy photographs, crime scene photographs, and we may have sent him one of the general reports relating to the crime scene. I don't remember for sure about that.

The Court: Well, I think what we're gonna have to do at this point is have an in camera hearing and seek from him what the basis of his opinion is and then see if there's any scientific basis for that opinion, and if he has such an opinion then proceed from there.

Mr. Wadley: Your Honor, that was the whole reason that we had this motion in limine in order to have that established first and then --

The Court: That's what we're gonna do at this point.

Mr. Wadley: Well it's already out now, your Honor. You've already (inaudible)

The Court: Well, no, what's out is that Mr. Echols has a pentagram tattoo, and what was the Egyptian symbol?

Mr. Price: Ankh.

The Court: With the - the circle with the stick man in it?

Mr. Price: Yes sir.

The Court: That he had those on his person, and I've already instructed the jury that the statements he made apply only to him in that regard. And if I didn't, I will. I'm almost certain I said whatever Mr. Echols said pertains to him and not to Mr. Baldwin, but maybe I didn't. If I didn't, I will. In other words, his statements, those were admissible under any circumstances. And you didn't address it in a motion to suppress his statements. You did on one hand, in the statement where he had said someone named Jason might have done it. Alright, Court will be in recess until 9:30 in the morning. Will that man be --

Mr. Fogleman: I've got a question.

(Courtroom noise)

(Off the record discussion - not transcribed)