The defamation lawsuit against Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks by the stepfather of one of the victims of the West Memphis 3 has been moved to federal court. The case was moved to federal court after Maines’ lawyers said that the parties involved are from different states and the damages being sought exceed $75K.
Her lawyers are also claiming first amendment protection for the statements that Maines made about Terry Hobbs in a 2007 rally. If you’ll recall when the DNA evidence from the crime scene was tested a hair belonging to Hobbs was found. As I’ve said before this neither implicates Hobbs nor exonerates the WM3. However, on her website, Maines basically said that Hobbs was the killer.
In part, she wrote, “he washed his clothes and sheets at odd hours for no other reason than to hide evidence from the crime.”
The last time I checked Terry Hobbs has not been convicted for the murders. That sounds like defamation to me and as we all should know defamation is not protected speech.
I usually find it that it’s scoundrels who try wrapping themselves in the first amendment when they get in hot water.