Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Michael Graves to Perform in Conroe

Punk rocker to perform at church

With a black and white skull painted across his face, Micahel Graves will belt out a tune inside Grace Lutheran Church.

Graves, former lead singer of the horror punk band Misfits, will perform an acoustic and spoken-word show at 8 p.m. Thursday at Grace Lutheran Church, located at 13123 Texas 105 West in Conroe.

"It's just going to be him and his acoustic guitar," said Stacy Lyle, the event organizer and leader of Zion, a youth outreach ministry. "It'll be everything he wrote from his time with the Misfits to this new album 'Illusions.'"

The "Illusions" album was co-written by Damien Echols, a member of the one of the West Memphis Three. The West Memphis Three were arrested 15 years ago as teenagers for the murder of three children, but have maintained their innocence while in prison.

"There was never any physical evidence linking them to the crime," Lyle said. "In the last year, new evidence linking other people to the crime has come up."

Proceeds from the show's $10 tickets will be equally split between the church's youth group and legal funding for the West Memphis Three.

Zion began offering music shows to area youth and their families March 31, 2007 with Everyday Sunday, a popular Christian band, which received its first number one hit that day. Since then, Zion has offered regular events, and Everyday Sunday has earned seven number 1 hits. The group will perform again June 26 at the church.

"I was a musician growing up," Lyle said. "I have a deep passion that music is a gift from God. I want to provide a place the kids can go, their parents don't mind dropping them off at and it's someplace kids want to go.

"We don't preach to the kids while they're here and we don't throw Bibles at them. ... It's neat because you'll see a kid with a cowboy hat next to a kid with a Mohawk. They normally wouldn't socialize at school, but we haven't had any trouble here."

For more information about Zion, visit www.myspace.com/golgothaconroe.

Kassia Micek can be reached at kmicek@hcnonline.com.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Judge in WM3 case "ready to get it over with"

Associated Press
(2008-04-15) The trial judge in the case of three men accused as teenagers of killing three West Memphis second graders said in an appeal hearing Tuesday almost 15 years after their convictions that he was "ready to get it over with."

Circuit Judge David Burnett began the brief hearing before five lawyers for Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley. Burnett said he would set aside three weeks to hear the appeal, most likely in September. Each defendant would have one week, he said.

"I want to wrap this up. It's been 15 years. I'm ready to get it over with one way or the other," Burnett told a packed courtroom. "I don't care what the outcome is. I just want the attorneys to do their business so I can do mine."

Burnett gave defense lawyers 45 days to file their pleadings and set an Aug. 20 hearing for lawyers to give him a status report.

None of the defendants, the so-called West Memphis Three who have a loyal following, were at the hearing.

Prosecutor Brent Davis, who successfully prosecuted the case against the three for the 1993 murders of Steven Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers, handled the hearing Tuesday, as well.

Security was noticeable at the Craighead County Courthouse Annex. Sheriff Jack McCann and several of his deputies scrutinized people as they waited for the proceeding to begin. Inside the small courtroom, supporters of the convicted men filled five wooden benches. Among them was Lorrie Davis, Echols' wife.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kuar/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1260654§ionID=1