Court-martial set to begin for soldier charged in 1985 triple-homicide
Posted March 15, 2010
Fort Bragg, N.C. — A Fort Bragg soldier accused of killing a mother and her two daughters 25 years ago is going on trial for the third time after prosecutors say new DNA technology revealed a link to the slayings.
Opening statements are set for Wednesday in 51-year-old Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis' court-martial.
Hennis is charged with three counts of premeditated murder in the May 9, 1985, deaths of 31-year-old Kathryn Eastburn and her 5-year-old and 3-year-old daughters in their Summerhill Road home in Fayetteville.
Hennis was first convicted in state court, but won an appeal and was acquitted in a second state trial.
Hennis couldn't be tried in state court again, so the case was turned over to the Army after investigators said a new DNA test linked Hennis to the killings.
Officials said the court-martial could last two months, with up to 120 witnesses slated to be called by prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Hennis has filed a federal lawsuit to halt the court-martial, saying the Army doesn't have jurisdiction in the case because he had discharged in 1989 before re-enlisting.