Steven Edward Branch (born November 28, 1984) was one of three murder victims in the "Robin Hood Hills Child Murders" case. Steven, usually referred to as "Stevie", was the son of Steven Branch, Sr. and Pamela Hicks Hobbs. At the time of his death, he was a second grader at Weaver Elementary School in West Memphis, AR. Stevie was a very good student and liked by his classmates. He was easily recognizable because of his striking light blond hair and his friendly demeanor. Terry Hobbs was Stevie's stepfather and biological father to his younger sister, Amanda Hobbs.
Just before Stevie's murder his grandfather, Jackie Hicks, Sr., gave him a brand new bicycle. On May 5th, 1993, Stevie was accompanied home from school by his mother and younger sister, Amanda. Pam worked the evening shift at Catfish Island, a local restaurant. When Stevie's playmate Michael Moore stopped by the home, Pam gave permission for Stevie to leave and ride bikes until 4:30p.m. Steve had not returned home by the time Terry Hobbs took Pam to work.
Stevie was discovered murdered on the afternoon of May 6th, 1993. The last known sighting of Stevie occurred at approximately 7:00p.m. by Chris Wahl. Wahl was polygraphed in relation to the murders and cleared. Stevie's body was found in a drainage ditch, nude and hogtied in a peculiar fashion. The hogtie used to bind all three boys was not a traditional hogtie in that the right wrist was tied to the right ankle, leaving a fair amount of slack. The same was done on the left side. Stevie was found in close proximity to Christopher Byers in the ditch running into the Ten-Mile Bayou.
At the time of Stevie's disappearance, Terry Hobbs claimed that he had not seen Stevie at any time on May 5th, 1993. In 2009, three separate statements were taken from Deborah Moyer, Jamie Clark Ballard, and Brandy Clark Williams wherein the women claimed to have observed Terry calling Stevie back to the Hobbs family residence at approximately 6:30p.m. on May 5th, 1993. The family did not make a statement to police immediately following the murders, claiming they did not feel the information was pertinent to the case. These statements have been submitted as part of an Actual Innocence defense on the part of Damien Echols. The declarations may be found in the following location:
Last Known Sightings
- Morning until 2:45pm - at school
- 2:45pm - walks home from school with Pam and Amanda
- 3:00pm - arrives home
- 3:00pm-3:15pm (approx.) - Michael Moore arrives at Stevie's on his bike
- 3:15pm (approx.) - Stevie and Michael leave the house to ride their bikes. Stevie is told to be back by 4:30pm. The boys leave, go west on South McAuley, then north on 14th.
- 4-4:15pm - Gregory Quirt reports seeing Stevie and Michael with a bunch of other boys. He says they told him they were going "riding"
- http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/img/q_gregory_statement.html Quirt described seeing 3 boys on 2 bikes (unconfirmed as to whether the 3rd boy on the bike was Chris).
- 5:15pm - (approx.) David Jacoby states that he saw Stevie and two boys pass by outside of him home.
- 5:00-5:30pm - Jeff Martins/Betty Lou Martins - see 4 boys (3 on two bikes, and 1 walking). Identified Chris, Michael, and Stevie. The approximate distance from the Hobbs' house (near Jacoby's house) and the Martins' house on 719 Wilson is half a mile.
- 5:45pm - The Baileys report seeing Stevie and Michael on WE Catt, wearing green backpacks, riding bikes. Michael told Otto Bailey that he was in a hurry and needed to leave. The boys are going toward Mayfair.
- 5:45pm-6:00pm - Kim Williams is seen in the same location as Stevie and Michael until she is called in by her father. Claims she last saw the two boys heading into Robin Hood woods by way of the Goodwin entrance.
- 6:00pm - Ben Crafton confirms that Kim was with Stevie and Michael until being called in by her father. http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/b_crafton_door.html
- 6pm - Debra O'Tinger says the boys meet up in her yard and eventually go into the woods via Goodwin.
- 6:00pm - Jason Gobbell reports seeing 2 boys on bikes
- 6:00pm - Dana Moore saw three boys on two bikes on N 14th.
- 6-6:30pm - Chris, Michael, and Stevie are seen playing in the Clark's backyard (a few houses down from the Hobbs' house). Jamie Clark Ballard stated that she heard Terry Hobbs call Stevie back to the house.
- 6-6:30pm - All three boys are seen by Cindy Rico. She said she saw them by "the drainage ditch down past Blue Beacon down by the bridge."
- 6:45pm - (questionable sighting) Bryan Woody said he saw 4 boys playing on Goodwin (not confirmed as Stevie, Michael, and Chris)
- 7pm - Chris Wahl says he saw Christopher and Stevie riding bikes. He refers to one boys as a blonde. It was 7pm because Chris Wahl got out of night school at that time and saw the boys after class let out. The boys were going toward Robin Hood woods. He reported that it was beginning to get dark. He was polygraphed about involvement and did not indicate deception to questions asking if he was involved.http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/img/c_wahl_notes.html