His DNA was matched to a hair found on the shoelaces used to tie the boys before they were dumped in a ditch. Hobbs, who was questioned early on, denies any involvement and has not been named as a suspect.
The judge had two motions in front of him. One motion alleging juror misconduct in the original case and the other dealing with DNA testing results that allegedly excluded the involvement of any of the three in the crime.
Echols' lead attorney, Donald Horgan, said Friday that while it might appear as though celebrity support for the "West Memphis Three" sets the case apart, their story is all too common.
"For every group of defendants like these that ultimately get some attention paid to them, there are 100 who are innocent, who have no legal or financial support," Horgan said.
When the teens were convicted in 1993, he said, they had almost no money to pay for legal help and, as a result, were convicted of a crime they did not commit.
ABC News' Jim Avila and James Hill contributed to this report.