Musician Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for West Memphis Three Scam
Before Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley (known as the West Memphis Three) were released from prison in 2011, some of rock and metal's most prominent musicians petitioned for the trio's freedom. However, alt-rock musician Kasey Anderson has just been sentenced to four years in prison after defrauding over 30 West Memphis Three supporters out of $586,000.
In 1994, the West Memphis Three were convicted of murdering three Arkansas children. Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley were given life in prison, while Damien Echols was handed a death sentence. A mountain of evidence supported the trio's innocence, and after 18 years in prison, the three reached a plea deal that secured their freedom.
Marilyn Manson, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and even Johnny Depp were three of the most outspoken supporters of the WM3, taking a purely selfless approach to raising awareness. Sadly, that can't be said of Kasey Anderson. The musician raised over half a million dollars to put on a concert and release a compilation album to benefit Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, but Kasey Anderson embezzled the money instead.
According to Rolling Stone, to raise the large sum of money, Anderson impersonated music industry heavyweights including Bruce Springsteen manager Jon Landau and even relatives of the West Memphis Three. All who donated have yet to be paid back, but in a letter written to the court, Anderson offered an apology:
I am a deeply flawed and mentally ill person who made some terrible choices, causing so much emotional and financial damage to others. But I believe I have much to offer my community. I am so sorry for what I’ve done and want so badly to make it right … I lied to myself and others, and believing those lies, I told myself consistently that whatever was going on with me … I could fix it on my own. I convinced myself that it was normal.
The West Memphis Three remain free to this day, with Damien Echols having penned the incredible memoir 'Life After Death.'