Ex-Death Row Inmate Lives Up First Night of Freedom

Damien Echols hangs out with celebrities, learns to use iPhone
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2011 5:58 AM CDT
Ex-Death Row Inmate Lives Up First Night of Freedom
Damien Echols, left, Jessie Misskelley, Jr., center, and Jason Baldwin sit at a table before a news conference at the Craighead County Court House in Jonesboro, Ark., Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, after the three were released after pleading guilty to the 1993 deaths of three West Memphis, Ark., children....   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Damien Echols, one of the infamous "West Memphis Three" who was released from death row on Friday, spent his first night of freedom partying with big-name supporters like Eddie Vedder and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, and trying to figure out how to use an iPhone, reports the AP. "One minute I'm looking at something about Judge (David) Laser," said Echols, referring to his trial judge. "The next minute, it's on, like, some hardcore porn site."

The next morning, it was breakfast and cranberry juice with his wife at a friend's diner. "It's like sensory overload," said a member of Echols' legal team. "When someone has been so deprived of this kind of experience ... it's almost experiencing it again for the first time." But now that they are free, the West Memphis Three need to shift their focus to finding who was really behind the murders that put them in prison for 18 years, despite the prosecutor's skepticism of their innocence. "This is not over until the real killer or killers are incarcerated," said one of Echols' friends. (Read more West Memphis Three stories.)

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