Depp, ex-con bonded with tattoos

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Depp, ex-con bonded with tattoos

TORONTO - Actor Johnny Depp said he and Damien Echols, one of three men who claimed to have been wrongly convicted for 1993 satanic ritual murders, got tattoos to mark their special bond after Echols was released from prison last year.

“There was an instant connection, some brotherly kind of love there,” Depp told a press conference Saturday at the world premiere in Toronto of Amy Berg’s film “West of Memphis,” which chronicles the miscarriage of justice that sent three purportedly innocent men to jail.

“It was instant,” he said. “To finally see Damien arrive at my house, on my doorstep, was moving and it was a celebration. It was beautiful. We had Tater Tots and tacos. And things took their natural course and we ended up at the tattoo parlor.”

Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin were tried and convicted in 1994 of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Prosecutors alleged the children were killed in a satanic ritual.

But forensic evidence presented last year led them to a deal with prosecutors that allowed them to assert their innocence while acknowledging there had been enough evidence to convict them. They were released after 18 years in prison.

Several documentaries have been based on the so-called “West Memphis 3” case, and celebrities have held fund-raisers in the belief that they are innocent.

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