Local News

Supreme Court won't hear convicted soldier's murder appeal

Posted June 11, 2012 2:12 p.m. EDT

Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis leaves the federal courthouse in Raleigh on Feb. 26, 2010, after a hearing in which he challenged the Army's right to try him for three 1985 slayings in Fayetteville.

— The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a former Fort Bragg soldier convicted in the 1985 deaths of a Fayetteville woman and two of her daughters.

Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis is on death row in a military prison following his April 2010 court-martial.

Kathryn Eastburn and two of her daughters, 5-year-old Kara and 3-year-old Erin, were stabbed to death in their Summerhill Road home on May 9, 1985. Jana Eastburn, who was 22 months old at the time, was left unharmed in her crib.

Hennis petitioned the Supreme Court in April to review his case. The justices didn't provide a reason for their refusal.

He was convicted in state court in 1986 but won an appeal and was acquitted in a second trial three years later. He finished out his service in the Army and retired to Washington state.

Years later, DNA tests not available in the 1980s linked Hennis to sperm found on Kathryn Eastburn. Because Hennis couldn't be tried in state court again, the case was turned over to the Army to pursue a court-martial.