State News

Defense rests in soldiers's triple murder trial

Posted April 6, 2010

— Lawyers for a retired soldier forced back into the Army to face charges in a North Carolina triple slaying wrapped up their case Tuesday.

Closing arguments are set for Wednesday after attorneys for 52-year-old Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis finished presenting evidence Tuesday. His lawyers have been focusing on what they say are inconsistent eyewitnesses and a lack of physical evidence.

Hennis is charged with three counts of premeditated murder in the May 1985 deaths of 31-year-old Kathryn Eastburn and two of her daughters in their Fayetteville home. He was first convicted in state court, but won an appeal and was acquitted in a second trial. He couldn't be tried in state court again, so the case was turned over to the Army.

Prosecutors say new DNA tests linked Hennis to the crime scene, but defense attorneys argued the quality of the DNA sample was low and that authorities couldn't prove it had been stored securely over the past 25 years.

Hennis didn't testify in his own defense.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty.


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  • EverythingTicksMeOff Apr 7, 2010

    Yeah, this is a tough one. It's hard to even imagine that he can get a fair trial after 25 years. I'd think that the best the jury can do is determine a verdict with some probability, not beyond all reasonable doubt. On the other hand, imagine being the family member of one of the victims. No amount of time would make them feel like they don't want the actual murderer to get off. It would take a rare person to be able to put this to rest knowing that the murderer is still out there, and there's a fair chance he can still be caught and convicted. hard to call.

  • clickhere Apr 6, 2010

    Interesting trial, for a third time. I doubt they'll get him on this, although it will probably be termed a 'hennis crime' (or is that heinous?). I understand the mechanics of his being put on trial for a third time, but I don't agree with it, even if he's guilty of this horrific crime. 2 trials should have been one too many.