US Soldier sentenced to die for 1985 triple murder

#1
Soldier sentenced to die for 1985 triple murder


Posted: 38 minutes ago
Updated: 21 minutes ago

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A panel of 14 Army officers and enlisted personnel on Thursday sentenced a former Fort Bragg soldier to death for killing a Fayetteville woman and two small children in 1985.

Last week, the panel found Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis guilty of three counts of premeditated murder for the May 9, 1985, stabbing deaths of Kathryn Eastburn and two of her daughters, 5-year-old Kara and 3-year-old Erin, in their Summerhill Road home.

Jurors deliberated almost 13 hours over three days before reaching the unanimous decision on the death sentence.

Hennis showed no emotion as the verdict was read. His wife, Angela, and his sister, Beth Brumfield, cried quietly.

The verdict also included a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank and forfeiture of all military pay and benefits.

The court-martial was Hennis' third trial for the crimes. 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.

Jurors appeared to be split Wednesday, questioning whether Hennis would be eligible for parole if sentenced to life in prison and the impact of a divided vote.

After much debate, Col. Patrick Parrish declined to provide the jury with information about military parole regulations. He also urged them to continue deliberating until they reached a decision.

Under military regulations, a death sentence requires a unanimous vote of the jury, and at least 11 members had to vote for a life sentence for one to be imposed. Any other split of the jury would have resulted in a mistrial in the sentencing phase and would have necessitated empaneling another jury to hand down a sentence.

Hennis will join five other men on the military's death row. They include Hasan Akbar, who was convicted at Fort Bragg in 2005 of killing two fellow soldiers in Iraq; former Fort Bragg soldier Ronald Gray, who killed two people and committed three rapes in December 1986 and January 1987; and Camp Lejeune Marine Kenneth Parker, who killed two fellow Marines with a shotgun in 1992.

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/7426168/
 
#4
littlejim said:
God, just for one stunned second there I thought this might be about a US soldier being tried for killing Iraqis or Afghans.
Sorry to disappoint LJ.
 
#5
littlejim said:
God, just for one stunned second there I thought this might be about a US soldier being tried for killing Iraqis or Afghans.
Maybe some Murdering Diggers too, eh?

Your Yank Penis Envy always shows through.
 
#6
jumpinjarhead said:
The verdict also included a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank and forfeiture of all military pay and benefits.
When it says all benefits, would this include his military pension (not that he's going to need it anyway)? and if so does this happen in more cases or just those sentenced to death?
 
#7
stacker1 said:
jumpinjarhead said:
The verdict also included a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank and forfeiture of all military pay and benefits.
When it says all benefits, would this include his military pension (not that he's going to need it anyway)? and if so does this happen in more cases or just those sentenced to death?
Generally in serious cases, sentences of courts martial include forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
 
#8
jumpinjarhead said:
The court-martial was Hennis' third trial for the crimes. 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.
So let me get this straight, If this bloke was not in the army he couldn't have been tried again and would have walked free?
 
#9
If Imprisoned at USDB Ft. Leavenworth for sentencing they pay is normally forfieted-Unless one has dependents, then the pay goes to the family IIRC.

(Had a Joe get 13 months for theft, and he got bupkis, his wife still recieved benefits and housing payments. Also I belive if you enroll an allotment that can't be touched as well. Know your likely going to jail, open an allotment. when you get out its right in the bank.
 
#10
jumpinjarhead said:
Generally in serious cases, sentences of courts martial include forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
Interesting, its quite rare for a British soldier to lose his pension rights when sentenced.
 
#11
tothepubandbeyond said:
So let me get this straight, If this bloke was not in the army he couldn't have been tried again and would have walked free?
That leaped out at me too. Why should somebody be at a disadvantage over an alleged crime committed off duty, just because they were serving in the military at the time?

BTW I am not against the principle that a second trial can be held in exceptional, serious cases after a person has been found not guilty, if new, clear, scientific evidence becomes available which genuinely was not available at the original trial. The law in England and Wales about "double jeopardy" has already been changed, and a change is being considered in Scotland.

I just think that people who happen to have been serving in the military should not be at a disadvantage compared to civilians.
 
#13
tothepubandbeyond said:
jumpinjarhead said:
The court-martial was Hennis' third trial for the crimes. 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.
So let me get this straight, If this bloke was not in the army he couldn't have been tried again and would have walked free?
Correct-double jeopardy prevents it. The reason he could be tried by the military is a different "sovereign" is involved. Part of our federalism system whereby the states are considered as different governments from the federal government for various purposes, including prosecution of criminal cases.
 
#14
hackle said:
tothepubandbeyond said:
So let me get this straight, If this bloke was not in the army he couldn't have been tried again and would have walked free?
That leaped out at me too. Why should somebody be at a disadvantage over an alleged crime committed off duty, just because they were serving in the military at the time?

BTW I am not against the principle that a second trial can be held in exceptional, serious cases after a person has been found not guilty, if new, clear, scientific evidence becomes available which genuinely was not available at the original trial. The law in England and Wales about "double jeopardy" has already been changed, and a change is being considered in Scotland.

I just think that people who happen to have been serving in the military should not be at a disadvantage compared to civilians.
I agree. In this case, most would agree that the end result was favourable, but this effectively means that double jeopardy doesn't apply to ex-military personnel.

Does this also mean that a veteran aquitted of, say, assault could be tried twice for the same crime - even if 'new evidence' hadn't been made available?
 
#15
hackle said:
tothepubandbeyond said:
So let me get this straight, If this bloke was not in the army he couldn't have been tried again and would have walked free?
That leaped out at me too. Why should somebody be at a disadvantage over an alleged crime committed off duty, just because they were serving in the military at the time?

BTW I am not against the principle that a second trial can be held in exceptional, serious cases after a person has been found not guilty, if new, clear, scientific evidence becomes available which genuinely was not available at the original trial. The law in England and Wales about "double jeopardy" has already been changed, and a change is being considered in Scotland.

I just think that people who happen to have been serving in the military should not be at a disadvantage compared to civilians.
It is not that he was in the military-it is that the prosecution was by the federal government while the earlier trials were by the state of North Carolina. It is the same as in some of the civil rights cases where criminals were acquitted or even convicted and served time in state court trials and then the feds swoop in and try them again under civilian federal law.
 
#16
stacker1 said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Generally in serious cases, sentences of courts martial include forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
Interesting, its quite rare for a British soldier to lose his pension rights when sentenced.
I'm fairly sure that when a British soldier has been executed, his pay gets stopped.
 
#17
DeltaDog said:
hackle said:
tothepubandbeyond said:
So let me get this straight, If this bloke was not in the army he couldn't have been tried again and would have walked free?
That leaped out at me too. Why should somebody be at a disadvantage over an alleged crime committed off duty, just because they were serving in the military at the time?

BTW I am not against the principle that a second trial can be held in exceptional, serious cases after a person has been found not guilty, if new, clear, scientific evidence becomes available which genuinely was not available at the original trial. The law in England and Wales about "double jeopardy" has already been changed, and a change is being considered in Scotland.

I just think that people who happen to have been serving in the military should not be at a disadvantage compared to civilians.
I agree. In this case, most would agree that the end result was favourable, but this effectively means that double jeopardy doesn't apply to ex-military personnel.

Does this also mean that a veteran aquitted of, say, assault could be tried twice for the same crime - even if 'new evidence' hadn't been made available?
NO-it is an issue of 2 sovereigns. If a military member is acquitted by a court martial, he or she cannot be retried for the same crime by another court martial or in civilian federal criminal court (assuming the crime is also one under civilian criminal law).

As a practical matter for more run of the mill crimes by military personnel (such as an assault on another military member in one of the crime-ridden towns that are usually outside the gate of every major US base in the US), the military and the local (state) jurisdiction will have an understanding as to which jurisdiction will try thew case and there will only be one trial even though legally teach jurisdiction could do so due to the different sovereign rule.
 
#18
jumpinjarhead said:
hackle said:
...I just think that people who happen to have been serving in the military should not be at a disadvantage compared to civilians.
It is not that he was in the military-it is that the prosecution was by the federal government while the earlier trials were by the state of North Carolina. It is the same as in some of the civil rights cases where criminals were acquitted or even convicted and served time in state court trials and then the feds swoop in and try them again under civilian federal law.
So why was this civilian tried by the military, and not by a civilian federal court?
 
#19
putteesinmyhands said:
stacker1 said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Generally in serious cases, sentences of courts martial include forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
Interesting, its quite rare for a British soldier to lose his pension rights when sentenced.
I'm fairly sure that when a British soldier has been executed, his pay gets stopped.
Cheers smartarse but I did ask before that post if benefits being stopped only applied to those sentence to death.
 
#20
hackle said:
jumpinjarhead said:
hackle said:
...I just think that people who happen to have been serving in the military should not be at a disadvantage compared to civilians.
It is not that he was in the military-it is that the prosecution was by the federal government while the earlier trials were by the state of North Carolina. It is the same as in some of the civil rights cases where criminals were acquitted or even convicted and served time in state court trials and then the feds swoop in and try them again under civilian federal law.
So why was this civilian tried by the military, and not by a civilian federal court?
Our own court martials have convicted ex-pads brats (after their fathers have left the army) for murder.
 

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