Local News

Hennis gets more funds for defense

Posted September 10, 2009 6:22 p.m. EDT

— A military judge granted part of a defense request in the case of a Fort Bragg soldier charged in a 1985 triple slaying.

Master Sgt. Timothy B. Hennis, 51, is charged with three counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of Kathryn Eastburn, 31, and her daughters, 3-year-old Erin and 5-year-old Kara.

His attorneys asked Col. Patrick Parrish Wednesday for more money to pay experts for consultation on the case. Parrish awarded the defense about three-quarters of the $9,500 requested. It will fund 10 additional hours of consultation with one expert and 25 hours with another.

Hennis, who was stationed at Fort Bragg at the time of the murders, was convicted in state court and sentenced to die in 1986. The North Carolina Supreme Court granted him a retrial after hearing arguments that prosecutors had overused graphic crime scene photos to inflame the jury in his original trial. A second jury acquitted him in 1989.

Hennis retired from the Army in 2004 but was ordered back to active so he could be tried in military court after an investigator with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office uncovered new DNA evidence.