Defamation Suit Against Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines Dismissed

A defamation suit against the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines has been dismissed after a federal judge said “actual malice” could not be established. Maines was being sued by Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of an 8-year-old boy who was murdered in Arkansas 15 years ago. Hobbs claimed Maines accused him of being involved in the murder because she had written about the case on the Dixie Chicks’ Web site and spoke about it at a protest in Little Rock, Ark., in 2007. The ruling indicates that Hobbs could not establish that Maines made the statements with “reckless disregard” of the truth, according to The Associated Press. The teenagers who were originally convicted in the case are sometimes called the West Memphis Three by those who believe they were wrongly accused.