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June Trial Set for Soldier Charged in Triple Slaying

Posted September 18, 2007

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— A retired soldier recalled to active duty to face charges in a triple slaying 22 years ago will be tried by court-martial next June, a military judge said Tuesday.

Master Sgt. Timothy B. Hennis, 49, is charged with three counts of premeditated murder in the May 9, 1985, stabbing deaths of Kathryn Eastburn, 32, and her daughters Erin, 3, and Kara Sue, 5, of Fayetteville.

Hennis was convicted in a civilian court and sentenced to death in 1986, but the North Carolina Supreme Court awarded him a new trial after finding his first trial was run unfairly and with weak evidence. A second jury acquitted Hennis in April 1989, and he retired from the Army in 2004 and moved to Washington state.

Evidence connecting him to the crimes, however, prompted the military to recall Hennis to active duty last October so it could pursue charges in connection with the case.

Military officials dismissed a rape charge against Hennis, noting that the statute of limitations for the charge that was in effect in 1985 had run out. But they are seeking the death penalty on the three murder charges.

At an 11-minute arraignment Tuesday morning, Hennis deferred on selecting the composition of the jury for the court-martial proceedings. He can request a panel made entirely of officers or have at least one-third of the panel be enlisted soldiers senior in rank to him.

A pretrial hearing in the case has been set for Jan. 7.

Hennis has been working at Fort Bragg headquarters and isn't restricted on the base, officials said, so he is free to move about the community.

11 Comments

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  • shine Sep 19, 2007

    Thanks for the info Rev.........

  • Adelinthe Sep 19, 2007

    "Was it DNA evidence that ended up getting him in the end???"

    Yes, DNA evidence that he could not be tested for evidence at his trial in a civilian court years ago, because he's already been tried and found innocent there, BUT he had not been tried in a military court, and because he was in the military when he committed the crimes, the military went after him and it won't be pleasant for him - just like it was for his victims long ago.

    Read the research on this case - very very interesting.

    Praying for those innocent souls and for those who loved them.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • shine Sep 19, 2007

    I don't remember this and the article is not too informative.... Was it DNA evidence that ended up getting him in the end??????????

  • ranquick Sep 19, 2007

    Color of the skin does not even have anything to do with this case...if in fact he is guilty or not, it will all come out now and he will not be free to collect his retirement check any more when all said and done. What is the old TV program , DON'T DO THE CRIME IF YOU CAN"T DO THE TIME. He will pay one way or another!

  • Aries82 Sep 19, 2007

    I remember reading about the murders when it happened. After all this time, if he is found to be guilty, then carry out the sentence. Hopefully, he won't sit in a prison for another 22 years going through the appeal process.

  • johnsod27330 Sep 18, 2007

    Being in he military I don't know why it is taking so long for this courts martial to take place. I have seen and participated in some and they are normally much quicker then this. I am sure the tax payers will be happy that they have to pay this guys salary for at least another year.

  • onpointe Sep 18, 2007

    The youngest little girl was left alive. She suffered for several days alone in a crib with no water or food. Justice now for this family!

  • illegals--GO HOME Sep 18, 2007

    I tried as hard as I could to be objective back when this first happened....long before DNA had come to be regularly used in court, and try as I might, he was the only one that had means, motive and opportunity with any small amount of evidence. Had DNA been available in court, his conviction would have never been overturned, so it is good that the military can and will be able to exact justice in this case. He is an evil person that could harm anyone let alone two small, very innocent children. I am just glad he didn't kill the third child. I know he felt very smug for many years that he had gotten away with this, but there will be an even greater punishment after his life here is done..........best wishes on that judgement day Tim.

  • Here We Go Again Sep 18, 2007

    Wow, talk about cold case...He has been able to relax for 22 years and now WHAMMY!! Hate to be in his shoes. I do hope the families get some satisfaction after all these years.....

  • Adelinthe Sep 18, 2007

    This beast needs to die - if not for what he did to the adult, then certainly for what he did to the children.

    Praying for their loved ones.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

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