A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (June 2018)

June 2018

Missing:
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Friends, family of missing UMass nursing student Maura Murray hope funds will lead to answers

Cold Cases:
Family wants justice for Army vet found shot to death in driveway
Authorities Have Cracked a Bizarre Cold Case That Could Have Ties to the Zodiac Killer
48 Hours Premiered ’48 Hours Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?’ on CBS (June 17, 2017)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

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Four U.S. Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961

US Army

John Bennett, US Army (Austria)

A look at the last U.S. soldier executed by the military (1961)

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Ronald Gray, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Ronald Gray, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Rape & Murder of Army Private Laura Vickery-Clay & Civilian Kimberly Ruggles (1986)

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Hasan Akbar, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Sergeant Hasan Akbar, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for a Grenade & Rifle Attack on Fellow Soldiers in Kuwait Resulting in Two Deaths & Several Injuries (2003)

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Major Nidal Hasan, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas)

Major Nidal Hasan, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for Opening Fire & Killing 12 Unarmed Soldiers and 1 DoD Employee at Fort Hood, Texas (2009)

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Timothy Hennis, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Retired Army Sgt. Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Murders of Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Children Cara & Erin at Fort Bragg (April 15, 2010)

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Dwight Loving, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas)

Army Soldier Dwight Loving Murdered First of Two Cab Drivers; Sentenced to Death by Military Courts But Commuted in 2017 by President Obama, Re-sentenced to Life, No Parole (December 12, 1988)

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SrA Andrew Witt, US Air Force (Robins AFB, Georgia)

Air Force SrA Andrew Witt Sentenced to Death for the Pre-Meditated Murders of Jamie & Andy Schliepsiek; 13 Years Later, Military Court Re-sentenced Witt to Life In Prison, No Parole (October 13, 2005)

Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)

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(Photo courtesy of http://www.reuters.com)

*Research not complete and includes combat deaths

Fort Bragg equips, trains, rapidly deploys, and sustains full spectrum forces supporting Combatant Commanders from a Community of Excellence where Soldiers, Families and Civilians thrive.

2017:

Roshain Brooks, US Army: Died while engaged in combat operations, Iraq
Huey Dyer, US Army Dependent: Homicide, Army soldier Matt Dyer’s dog
Christopher Harris, US Army: Vehicle-borne IED detonated, Afghanistan
Jarren Heng, US Army: Sentenced to 12 months probation for role in killing Huey
Jonathon Hunter, US Army: Vehicle-borne IED detonated, Afghanistan
Weston Lee, US Army: Died from Injuries while Conducting Security, Iraq
Marinna Rollins, US Army Veteran: Killed estranged husband’s dog Huey, suicide
Allen Stigler, Jr., US Army: Died while engaged in combat operations, Iraq

2016:

Iris Armstrong, US Army: Homicide victim, murdered by spouse
David Penix, US Army: Homicide Victim
Grant Shanaman, US Army: Found Dead in Off Post Home
Johnathan Simpson, US Army: Accused of raping fellow soldier
Ryan Walker, US Army: Charged with homicide of fellow soldier
David Winchester, US Army: Found Dead in Barracks

2015:

Javore Blackwell, Civilian: Charged with homicide of Fort Bragg soldier
Joseph Carreiro, US Army: Found dead in barracks, COD unknown
Jeanie Ditty, US Army: Accused of murdering child with boyfriend
James Groth, US Army: Died during training at Fort Bragg
Anthony Pantano, US Army: Accused of causing woman’s death, found dead
Nicholas Roberts, US Army: Killed in military training accident at Fort Bragg
Pablo Ruiz, US Army: Non Combat Related Incident, Afghanistan
Joshua Wheeler, US Army: Died from enemy small-arms fire, Iraq
Robert Williams, Civilian: Charged with homicide of Fort Bragg soldier

2014:

Brian Arsenault, US Army: Died from enemy small-arms fire, Afghanistan
Adacia Bruton, US Army: Charged with homicide of Fort Bragg soldier
Michael Cathcart, US Army: Died from enemy small arms fire, Afghanistan
Michael Donahue, US Army: Died of Wounds Suffered from Enemy Attack
Girard Gass Jr., US Army (2014): Non Combat Related Incident, Afghanistan
James Groth, US Army: Died during training at Fort Bragg
Samuel Hairston, US Army: Died while engaging the enemy, Afghanistan
Matthew Leggett, US Army: Died while engaging the enemy, Afghanistan
Cory Muzzy, US Army: Injured in life-fire training accident at Fort Bragg
Joseph Riley, US Army: Died After Enemy Attacked Vehicle with IED, Afghanistan
Darrell Robinson, US Army: Cause of Death Unknown
Omar Velez-Pagan, US Army: Sentenced to 30 years for homicide
Jonathan Walker, US Army: Non Combat Related Incident, Qatar

2013:

Allen Thomas, US Army Veteran: Homicide-Suicide
Sean Wells, US Army: Homicide victim, case unsolved, cold case
Darron Wright, US Army: Killed in parachute malfunction accident

2012:

Christopher Blackett, US Army: Plead guilty to homicide, imprisoned, suicide
Kelli Bordeaux, US Army: Homicide victim by convicted sex offender
Sebastian Gamez, US Army: Charged with homicide, final outcome unknown
Joshua Eisenhauer, US Army: Attempted homicide
Nicholas Holbert, Civilian: Homicide of army soldier, sentenced to life
Giocondo Navek, Civilian: Reportedly killed girlfriend, colleague, & self
Wade Page, US Army Veteran: Murdered six people then killed self
Jeffrey Sinclair, US Army: Improper Relationships, Demoted & Fined

2011:

Seth Andrews, US Army: Murder-Suicide
Kenneth Clark, US Army: Acquitted of murdering Fort Bragg soldier
Brandon Mims, US Army: Acquitted of shooting death of Fayetteville man
Breon Smith, US Army: Homicide victim

2010:

Nicholas Bailey, US Army: Negligent homicide, Iraq
Mathew Golsteyn, US Army: Army reopens investigation into war crimes
Morganne McBeth, US Army: Non combat death, homicide

2009:

Tara Smith, US Army: Non combat related incident, Afghanistan
Jacob Swanson, US Army: Murder-suicide

2008:

Kyle Alden, US Marine Corps: Accessory in cover-up of homicide
Matthew Kvapil, US Army: Homicide of co-worker, sentenced to life
Edgar Patino, US Army: Homicide of soldier, sentenced to 16-20 years
Matthew Rhoads, US Army: Cause of death unknown
Christina Smith, US Army: Spousal homicide victim
Richard Smith, US Army: Spousal homicide, sentenced to life
Megan Touma, US Army: Pregnant, homicide victim
Holley Wimunc, US Army: Domestic violence, homicide victim
John Wimunc, US Marine Corps: Spousal homicide, sentenced to life

2007:

Alan Austin, US Army: Non-combat related accident, Afghanistan
Michael Barbera, US Army: Accused of war crimes, Army dropped charges
Sandy Britt, US Army: IED detonated near unit during combat ops, Iraq
Jesse Clowers, US Army: IED detonated near vehicle, Afghanistan
Joan Duran, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Iraq
Michael Fielder, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Iraq
Erick Foster, US Army: Insurgents attacked unit during combat ops, Iraq
Jordan Goode, US Army: Wounds suffered from IED, Afghanistan
David Heringes, US Army: IED detonated near unit during combat ops, Iraq
Jeffrey Kettle, US Army: IED detonated near vehicle, Afghanistan
Charles Kitowski, US Army: IED detonated near vehicle, Afghanistan
Joshua Morley, US Army: Insurgents attacked unit during combat ops, Iraq
Tracy Willis, US Army: Insurgents attacked unit during combat ops, Iraq
Donovan Witham, US Army: IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq

2005:

Leroy Alexander, US Army: Vehicle struck by IED, Afghanistan
Jeremy Chandler, US Army: Died conducting training operations, Afghanistan
Charles Robinson, US Army: Vehicle struck by IED, Afghanistan
Jeffrey Toczylowski, US Army: Injuries sustained during combat operations
James Valentine, US Army Spouse: Murder-Suicide
Ronna Valentine, US Army: Victim of homicide

2003:

Andrew Baddick, US Army: Died in rescue attempt of another soldier, Iraq
James Lambert III, US Army: Struck by stray bullet during celebratory event, Iraq
Duane Longstreth, US Army: Non combat related injuries, Iraq

2002:

Sherman Cooley, US Army: Arrested for homicide of fellow soldier
Andrea Floyd, US Army Retired: Homicide Victim
Brandon Floyd, US Army: Homicide-Suicide
Cedric Griffin, US Army: Charged with first degree murder
Jacob Jarrell, US Army: Homicide victim
Jonathan Meadows, US Army: Attempted homicide
Rigoberto Nieves, US Army: Murder-suicide
David Shannon, US Army: Homicide Victim
Joan Shannon, US Army Spouse: Homicide
William Wright, US Army: Charged with murder, killed self awaiting trial

2000:

John Diamond, US Army: Homicide of USAF Officer
Frank Theer, US Air Force: Homicide Victim
Michelle Theer, US Air Force Spouse: Homicide of USAF Husband

1999:

Forest Nelson, US Army: Homicide

1995:

James Burmeister, US Army: Homicide of 2 People
William Kreutzer, US Army: Sentenced to life in prison for homicide
Randy Meadows, US Army: 3 years probation for role in homicides of 2 people
Malcolm Wright, US Army: Homicide of 2 People

1993:

Lisa Bryant, US Army: Homicide victim
Erwin Graves, US Army: Homicide of fellow soldier

1987:

Kimberly Ruggles, Civilian: Rape & Homicide Victim

1986:

Ronald Gray, US Army: Rape & Homicide; Death Sentence
Laura Vickery-Clay, US Army: Rape & Homicide Victim

1985:

Cara Eastburn, US Air Force Dependent: Homicide Victim
Erin Eastburn, US Air Force Dependent: Homicide Victim
Kathryn Eastburn, US Air Force Spouse: Homicide Victim
Timothy Hennis, US Army: Rape & Homicide; Death Sentence

1980:

Lawrence Hill, US Army: Died in parachute accident
Alvin Williams, US Army: Acquitted of death of military officer

1970:

Jeffrey MacDonald, US Army: Convicted of Homicide, Appealing

Related Links:
A War at Home
The Fort Bragg Murders
Fort Bragg’s Deadly Summer
4 Wives Slain In 6 Weeks At Fort Bragg
Rash of Wife Killings Stuns Ft. Bragg
Rash of Wife Killings at Ft. Bragg Leaves the Base Wondering Why
Army Instituting Broad Inquiry at Fort Bragg After 4 Killings
Army’s Malaria Drug Linked To Three Fort Bragg Wife Killings
Base Crimes. The military has a domestic violence problem.
A History of Shootings at Military Installations in the U.S.
Sikh shooting latest violent link to Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg, Page’s Army base had white supremacists
Fort Bragg soldier killed in skydiving accident
82nd Airborne paratrooper killed at Fort Bragg, the latest in a series of military training deaths
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2007)

Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Mother’s Day Murders’ on ID: Timothy Hennis on Military Death Row for Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (October 8, 2012)

While on death row, Tim Hennis received an anonymous letter confessing to the murders. The note didn’t produce any leads. -CNN (July 17, 2014)

The star witness in Tim Hennis’ trial had doubts about whether Hennis committed the murders. -CNN (July 17, 2014)

A man tried three times for his life but is he a killer? Find out! Death Row Stories. -CNN (September 5, 2014)

The brutal murder of a U.S. Army wife and her two young daughters. One year later, a mountain of circumstantial evidence sent U.S. Army sergeant Timothy Hennis to death row for the crime, but the case later took a unique turn in legal history. -Timothy Hennis, Death Row Stories (S1,E7)

Victims:

Katie & Children

Kathryn Eastburn, Cara Eastburn, and Erin Eastburn

Related Links:
Death Row Stories: Hennis Trailer | CNN
I did the crime…you’re doin’ the time | CNN
Death penalty case’s ‘Perry Mason moment’ | CNN
Timothy Hennis | Death Row Stories | CNN (S1,E7)
Four U.S. Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)
In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn at Fort Bragg (April 15, 2010)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Mother’s Day Murders | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (website)
Mother’s Day Murders | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
The Eastburn Family Murders | True Crime Brewery Podcast
3 People on Death Row Who May Be Innocent Part 2

In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn in Fayetteville, NC (April 15, 2010)

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MSG Timothy Hennis, US Army Retired

In 1985, a young military officer’s wife and two of her three little girls were viciously murdered in their Fayetteville, North Carolina home. Kathryn Eastburn was also raped. The crime occurred six miles from the location of where Jeffrey MacDonald was accused of killing his wife and two children on the base at Fort Bragg. Army sergeant Timothy Hennis became a suspect from the beginning because a day or so earlier, he bought the Eastburn’s family dog. In a background check, they found that he had 3 convictions for writing bad checks and a witness identified him as the same person leaving the Eastburn home during the time in question. Eventually he was charged and found guilty of the murders of Kathryn, Cara, and Erin Eastburn; he was sentenced to death by the civilian authorities in North Carolina. But he appealed, was granted a new trial and at his second death penalty trial, he was found not guilty.

After his acquittal, he joined the Army again for two more tours, worked his way up to E-8, and retired as a MSG from Fort Lewis, Washington. Twenty years later, DNA evidence from a vaginal swab taken from Kathryn Eastburn linked Hennis to the crimes. Civilian prosecutors could not charge Hennis due to double jeopardy; but the US military did claiming they have federal jurisdiction because Hennis is a retiree. As a result, he was ordered back into service due to his retirement status. Hennis tried to claim consensual sex which contradicted original testimony. In 2010, a military jury found him guilty of three counts of murder and he was sentenced to death again. Hennis sits on death row at Fort Leavenworth with three other service members: Ronald Gray, Hasan Akbar, and Nidal Hasan.

Source: Death Row Stories ‘Timothy Hennis Double Jeopardy’

Video Links:


In 1985, a young military wife and two of her three little girls are viciously murdered in their home. In a twisted case filled with unusual suspects, the man who gets convicted goes free. But nothing is what it seems. -Discovery ID


3 People on Death Row Who May Be Innocent | Criminally Listed


A man tried three times for his life but is he a killer? Find out! Death Row Stories.


While on death row, Tim Hennis received an anonymous letter confessing to the murders. The note didn’t produce any leads. -Death Row Stories


The star witness in Tim Hennis’ trial had doubts about whether Hennis committed the murders. -Death Row Stories


Timothy Hennis Double Jeopardy | Death Row Stories | CNN

MJFA Links:
Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Daughters Cara & Erin Found Murdered in Fayetteville, NC Home; Youngest Toddler Jana Discovered Unharmed (May 9, 1985)
A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)
In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn in Fayetteville, NC (April 15, 2010)
Four Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)

Related Links:

1986
Death sentence sought
Jury in Hennis trial visits area where murder victims lived
Hennis Receives Death Sentence

1988
STATE of North Carolina v. Timothy Baily HENNIS

1989
Triple murder retrial to start
Witness firm on identification of murder suspect
Witness shaky on identifying Hennis

1996
Reversal of ‘Victims’: Made-for-TV Justice
ABC explores ex-city man’s prison plight MUG: Hennis BOX: On TV “Innocent Victims” airs at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday on ABC, Rochester cable channels 5 and 6

2007
GI cleared in 1989 faces murder court-martial
Accusations follow ex-soldier
Expert links soldier to 1985 killings
DNA hearing wraps up
Acquitted of murder, he now faces Army justice
Ex-soldier faces trial in decades-old deaths
Army to try soldier who was acquitted of 1985 slayings

2008
3 capital murder trials to put Army in spotlight

2009
Army holds hearing for soldier charged in 1985 murders

2010
Judge Delays Murder Trial For Recalled Soldier
Rochester native accused in N.C. triple murder
Why ‘exonerated’ needs to be used sparingly
Federal judge: Hennis court-martial can proceed
Soldier acquitted in 3 deaths faces military trial
Soldier acquitted in 3 deaths faces military trial
Hennis court-martial begins at Fort Bragg
Twenty-five years later, third trial begins in triple slaying
Hennis Trial Underway
Army presents its case in trial over 1985 killings
Hennis jury shown clothes of victims
Army expert: DNA from scene matches NC soldier
Friends, family testify for convicted NC soldier
Family testifies in Hennis sentencing
Military jury finds Hennis guilty of murder
Jury considers death for Hennis
Soldier Gets Death Sentence in Military Court after Civil Acquittal
Ex-Lakewood resident gets death in 1985 slayings
Soldier gets death sentence in 1985 Fayetteville triple slaying
Soldier sentenced to die for 1985 triple murder
For 2nd Time, Man Sentenced to Death for Murders
Prosecutor Emphasizes DNA in Hennis Closing
At 3rd Trial, Sergeant Guilty of 1985 Triple Murder
In 3rd Trial, Conviction in Murders From 1985
Military Jury Finds Hennis Guilty of Murder
Hennis found guilty of decades-old murders
Military Jury Convicts Soldier of Murder 20 Years After his Civilian Acquittal
Soldier’s family pleads for jury to spare his life
25 years later, widower recalls slain family
Father, daughter tell of pain 1985 triple murder caused
A murder conviction, but pain still felt
Tim Hennis case to be featured on 20/20

2011
NC soldier: SBI lab problems should mean new trial
Court-martial murder conviction appealed
Ex-Soldier Convicted Twice of Eastburn Triple Murder Appeals Again
Three Trials for Murder: In the name of justice, did the military sidestep double jeopardy?

2012
‘Unusual Suspects’: Military Man Convicted & Sentenced To Death Twice, Acquitted Once 
Court Rules Against Ex-Soldier in NC Triple Murder
Fort Bragg commander approves Timothy Hennis conviction, death sentence
An Execution Draws Closer
Timothy HENNIS, Petitioner–Appellant, v. Frank HEMLICK; Patrick Parrish, Colonel; Lloyd J. Austin, III, General; John McHugh, Honorable, Respondents–Appellees
Timothy Hennis v. Frank Hemlick et al. (US Court of Appeals)

2013
Nidal Hasan, and the 5 other men on the military’s death row

2014
Master sergeant on death row files new petition
Former Fort Bragg soldier again appeals conviction
Master sergeant on death row files new petition
What to Watch on Sunday: CNN’s ‘Death Row Stories’ looks at Hennis case in NC
Triple murder suspect goes from guilty to innocent and back to guilty
NC triple murder suspect goes from guilty to innocent and back to guilty

2015
10 Mysteries Resolved By Unbelievable Surprise Twists
CNN special with local attorney set for tonight
Timothy Hennis seeks relief in federal court; former Fort Bragg soldier questions Army’s jurisdiction in court-martial
Timothy Hennis case: Federal judge dismisses latest appeal
On military death row, execution is anything but guaranteed
Fair and Impartial? Military Jurisdiction and the Decision to Seek the Death Penalty
TIMOTHY B. HENNIS, Petitioner, v. ERICA NELSON, Commandant, USDB-Ft. Leavenworth, Respondent
Setting the Right Example: Removing the Military Death Penalty

2016
Eastburn Murders Expose a Loophole in the Law
Army court upholds death sentence of former Bragg soldier
Appeal by former Fort Bragg soldier who murdered mother and 2 daughters was rejected in military court
Timothy Hennis’ death sentence fits his gruesome crimes, court rules
Army CCA affirms death for Hennis
Army court upholds death sentence of former Bragg soldier
A look at the 6 inmates on US military death row

2017
Court-martialing retirees? ‘Fat Leonard’ cloud still looms for many current and former sailors
Hennis lawyers argue for more resources in murder appeal
Innocent Victims: The Horrific Eastburn Family Murders
The Eastburn Family Murders and The Three Trials of Staff Sergeant Tim Hennis
Army moves closer to first execution in 50 years; Ronald Gray on death row since 1988
Tim Hennis and the Eastburn Murders
Episode 3: The Case of Timothy Hennis | Death’s Door
The Many Trials of Tim Hennis
Episode 28: The Eastburn Family Murders | In Sight Pod
028 The Eastburn Family Murders | In Sight: A True Crime Podcast
United States v. Timothy Hennis | US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
US Appellee v. Timothy B. HENNIS, Master Sergeant, United States Army, Appellant | US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Death Penalty Information Center:
Description of Cases for those Sentenced to Death in U.S. Military
Former Death Row Inmate Acquitted in One Court, Now Convicted in Another

Video Links:
3 People on Death Row Who May Be Innocent Part 2
Unusual Suspects: Mother’s Day Murders (Investigation Discovery)
20/20 on ID: Witness | Investigation Discovery
Death Row Stories: Hennis Trailer | CNN
I did the crime…you’re doin’ the time | Death Row Stories | CNN
Death penalty case’s ‘Perry Mason moment’ | Death Row Stories | CNN
Timothy Hennis Double Jeopardy | Death Row Stories | CNN
Timothy Hennis | Death Row Stories | Netflix
Innocent Victims | ABC Television Movie

Book:
Innocent Victims: The True Story of the Eastburn Family Murders (Google)
Innocent Victims: The True Story of the Eastburn Family Murders (Amazon)

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A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)

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Air Force spouse Kathryn Eastburn was found brutally raped and murdered on May 9, 1985 in her Fayetteville, North Carolina home. Two of her three children, Cara and Erin, were also murdered in the same vicious way. All three were stabbed and their throats were slashed. Kathryn and her three children were home alone while Gary Eastburn was on temporary duty at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. The youngest daughter Jana was found dehydrated but otherwise unharmed. The crime occurred six miles from the location of where Jeffrey MacDonald was accused of killing his wife and two children at Fort Bragg. Army Sergeant Timothy Hennis was a suspect from the beginning because he had visited the Eastburn home a couple days earlier to buy the family dog.

Kathryn placed a dog for sale ad in the local post paper. Investigators sent out a press release looking for the person who bought the dog. In the meantime, a neighbor reported seeing someone leaving the Eastburn residence at the time in question. The neighbor provided details for a composite drawing; the suspect drove a white Chevy Chevette. At the urging of his wife, Hennis contacted the police station and investigators were stunned at how much he looked like the composite drawing. He also drove a white Chevy Chevette. In a background check, they found that Hennis had three convictions for writing bad checks. This was significant because the perpetrator stole Kathryn’s ATM card and used it on one occasion. Another witness identified Hennis as the person who used the ATM at the time in question.

In 1986, the State of North Carolina tried Hennis for the triple murders. Hennis was found guilty and sentenced to death. But he appealed and was found not guilty in the second death penalty trial. After his ‘exoneration’ Hennis was the subject of a book and an ABC made for television movie “Innocent Victims”. Meanwhile, against lawyers advice, Hennis enlisted in the Army again for two more tours, worked his way up to E-8, and retired as a MSG outside of Fort Lewis, Washington. Cold case investigators took a second look at the cold case and because of the advances in DNA technology, they retrieved a vaginal swab from the rape kit test and submitted it to the lab. DNA evidence linked Timothy Hennis to Kathryn Eastburn.The State of North Carolina prosecutors could not charge Hennis a third time because he was found ‘not guilty’ of the triple homicides in the second death penalty trial.

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “[N]or shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…” [wikipedia]. The civilians couldn’t try him in State court but the Army could because of federal jurisdiction; Hennis was an Army retiree therefore still under their jurisdiction. As a result, Hennis was activated and order to report to Fort Bragg for his third death penalty trial. The defense attempted to justify the DNA match to consensual sex but it contradicted his original testimony. The defense also called into question the ethics of the lab who made the DNA match. A military jury found Timothy Hennis guilty of three counts of murder and sentenced him to death. He awaits his execution date at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

Source: Unusual Suspects ‘Mother’s Day Murders’


In 1985, a young military wife and two of her three little girls are viciously murdered in their home. In a twisted case filled with unusual suspects, the man who gets convicted goes free. But nothing is what it seems. -Discovery ID

MJFA Links:
Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Daughters Cara & Erin Found Murdered in Fayetteville, NC Home; Youngest Toddler Jana Discovered Unharmed (May 9, 1985)
A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)
In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn in Fayetteville, NC (April 15, 2010)
Four Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)

Related Links:

1986
Death sentence sought
Jury in Hennis trial visits area where murder victims lived
Hennis Receives Death Sentence

1988
STATE of North Carolina v. Timothy Baily HENNIS

1989
Triple murder retrial to start
Witness firm on identification of murder suspect
Witness shaky on identifying Hennis

1996
Reversal of ‘Victims’: Made-for-TV Justice
ABC explores ex-city man’s prison plight MUG: Hennis BOX: On TV “Innocent Victims” airs at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday on ABC, Rochester cable channels 5 and 6

2007
GI cleared in 1989 faces murder court-martial
Accusations follow ex-soldier
Expert links soldier to 1985 killings
DNA hearing wraps up
Acquitted of murder, he now faces Army justice
Ex-soldier faces trial in decades-old deaths
Army to try soldier who was acquitted of 1985 slayings

2008
3 capital murder trials to put Army in spotlight

2009
Army holds hearing for soldier charged in 1985 murders

2010
Judge Delays Murder Trial For Recalled Soldier
Rochester native accused in N.C. triple murder
Why ‘exonerated’ needs to be used sparingly
Federal judge: Hennis court-martial can proceed
Soldier acquitted in 3 deaths faces military trial
Soldier acquitted in 3 deaths faces military trial
Hennis court-martial begins at Fort Bragg
Twenty-five years later, third trial begins in triple slaying
Hennis Trial Underway
Army presents its case in trial over 1985 killings
Hennis jury shown clothes of victims
Army expert: DNA from scene matches NC soldier
Friends, family testify for convicted NC soldier
Family testifies in Hennis sentencing
Military jury finds Hennis guilty of murder
Jury considers death for Hennis
Soldier Gets Death Sentence in Military Court after Civil Acquittal
Ex-Lakewood resident gets death in 1985 slayings
Soldier gets death sentence in 1985 Fayetteville triple slaying
Soldier sentenced to die for 1985 triple murder
For 2nd Time, Man Sentenced to Death for Murders
Prosecutor Emphasizes DNA in Hennis Closing
At 3rd Trial, Sergeant Guilty of 1985 Triple Murder
In 3rd Trial, Conviction in Murders From 1985
Military Jury Finds Hennis Guilty of Murder
Hennis found guilty of decades-old murders
Military Jury Convicts Soldier of Murder 20 Years After his Civilian Acquittal
Soldier’s family pleads for jury to spare his life
25 years later, widower recalls slain family
Father, daughter tell of pain 1985 triple murder caused
A murder conviction, but pain still felt
Tim Hennis case to be featured on 20/20

2011
NC soldier: SBI lab problems should mean new trial
Court-martial murder conviction appealed
Ex-Soldier Convicted Twice of Eastburn Triple Murder Appeals Again
Three Trials for Murder: In the name of justice, did the military sidestep double jeopardy?

2012
‘Unusual Suspects’: Military Man Convicted & Sentenced To Death Twice, Acquitted Once 
Court Rules Against Ex-Soldier in NC Triple Murder
Fort Bragg commander approves Timothy Hennis conviction, death sentence
An Execution Draws Closer
Timothy HENNIS, Petitioner–Appellant, v. Frank HEMLICK; Patrick Parrish, Colonel; Lloyd J. Austin, III, General; John McHugh, Honorable, Respondents–Appellees
Timothy Hennis v. Frank Hemlick et al. (US Court of Appeals)

2013
Nidal Hasan, and the 5 other men on the military’s death row

2014
Master sergeant on death row files new petition
Former Fort Bragg soldier again appeals conviction
Master sergeant on death row files new petition
What to Watch on Sunday: CNN’s ‘Death Row Stories’ looks at Hennis case in NC
Triple murder suspect goes from guilty to innocent and back to guilty
NC triple murder suspect goes from guilty to innocent and back to guilty

2015
10 Mysteries Resolved By Unbelievable Surprise Twists
CNN special with local attorney set for tonight
Timothy Hennis seeks relief in federal court; former Fort Bragg soldier questions Army’s jurisdiction in court-martial
Timothy Hennis case: Federal judge dismisses latest appeal
On military death row, execution is anything but guaranteed
Fair and Impartial? Military Jurisdiction and the Decision to Seek the Death Penalty
TIMOTHY B. HENNIS, Petitioner, v. ERICA NELSON, Commandant, USDB-Ft. Leavenworth, Respondent
Setting the Right Example: Removing the Military Death Penalty

2016
Eastburn Murders Expose a Loophole in the Law
Army court upholds death sentence of former Bragg soldier
Appeal by former Fort Bragg soldier who murdered mother and 2 daughters was rejected in military court
Timothy Hennis’ death sentence fits his gruesome crimes, court rules
Army CCA affirms death for Hennis
Army court upholds death sentence of former Bragg soldier
A look at the 6 inmates on US military death row

2017
Court-martialing retirees? ‘Fat Leonard’ cloud still looms for many current and former sailors
Hennis lawyers argue for more resources in murder appeal
Innocent Victims: The Horrific Eastburn Family Murders
The Eastburn Family Murders and The Three Trials of Staff Sergeant Tim Hennis
Army moves closer to first execution in 50 years; Ronald Gray on death row since 1988
Tim Hennis and the Eastburn Murders
Episode 3: The Case of Timothy Hennis | Death’s Door
The Many Trials of Tim Hennis
Episode 28: The Eastburn Family Murders | In Sight Pod
028 The Eastburn Family Murders | In Sight: A True Crime Podcast
United States v. Timothy Hennis | US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
US Appellee v. Timothy B. HENNIS, Master Sergeant, United States Army, Appellant | US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Death Penalty Information Center:
Description of Cases for those Sentenced to Death in U.S. Military
Former Death Row Inmate Acquitted in One Court, Now Convicted in Another

Video Links:
3 People on Death Row Who May Be Innocent Part 2
Unusual Suspects: Mother’s Day Murders (Investigation Discovery)
20/20 on ID: Witness | Investigation Discovery
Death Row Stories: Hennis Trailer | CNN
I did the crime…you’re doin’ the time | Death Row Stories | CNN
Death penalty case’s ‘Perry Mason moment’ | Death Row Stories | CNN
Timothy Hennis Double Jeopardy | Death Row Stories | CNN
Timothy Hennis | Death Row Stories | Netflix
Innocent Victims | ABC Television Movie

Book:
Innocent Victims: The True Story of the Eastburn Family Murders (Google)
Innocent Victims: The True Story of the Eastburn Family Murders (Amazon)

Air Force SrA Andrew Witt Sentenced to Death for the Pre-Meditated Murders of Jamie & Andy Schliepsiek; 13 Years Later, Military Court Re-sentenced Witt to Life In Prison, No Parole (October 13, 2005)

Air Force SrA Andrew Witt murdered Airman Andy Schliepsiek and his wife Jamie at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia on July 5, 2004. According to reports, Andrew Witt made a ‘pass’ at Andy’s wife Jamie at a July 4th cookout. When Andy confronted Witt about the inappropriate sexual advance, he informed him that he would not only report the assault to their Commander but also that he was sleeping with an officer on base. This was motive enough for Andrew Witt to drive back on base and stab them to death in the early morning hours of July 5th. Another airman Jason King was also stabbed in the back as he was attempting to flee the scene. On October 5, 2005, Andrew Witt was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to the death penalty by a military court on October 13, 2005. After an appeal, the death sentence was overturned in 2013. In early 2016, the death sentence for Andrew Witt was reinstated. On July 19, 2016, the highest military appeals court ruled in favor of a new sentencing hearing for Andrew Witt. In July 2018, a military panel re-sentenced Andrew Witt to life in prison without parole. Witt also received a dishonorable discharge from the Air Force as part of his sentence. At one point, Witt was the only Air Force service member on military death row at Leavenworth in Kansas. He was joined by four other Army soldiers: Timothy Hennis, Ronald Gray, Hasan AkbarNidal Hasan. (Army soldier Dwight Loving‘s death sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017).

Related Links:
Fast hearing promised in couple’s slaying
Witness: Spurned advance led to stabbings at Air Force base
Airman Charged with Killing Couple May Get Death
Air Force to move quickly in murder case
Mother of convicted airman pleads for mercy
Airman sentenced to death
Convicted airman sentenced to death for killing couple
Two killers closer to first military executions since 1961
Strain and battle fatigue of war hit home front
The death penalty: What is justice?
Sergeant offers hope to inmates
Air Force court reinstates airman’s death sentence for 2004 killing
Ga. airman’s death sentence overturned on appeal
Ga. airman’s death sentence overturned on appeal due to ignoring of critical evidence
Georgia airman escaped murder scene, fought PTSD
On military death row, execution is anything but guaranteed
CAAF to examine the Air Force CCA’s reconsideration of Airman Witt’s death sentence
New jury to decide fate of airman convicted in murder of former Peoria couple
Judge in USS Cole case refuses to step down for death penalty bias
Judge in Cole bombing case refuses to step down
United States v. Andrew Witt, US Air Force (2016)
The survivor: Airman escaped murder scene only to fight new battles
New hearing for airman awaiting military execution
Only airman on military’s death row gets new sentencing hearing
New Sentencing Hearing for Airman on Military Death Row
Murderous airman sentenced to death, still dodging execution after 12 years
Death sentence upheld for Robins airman
Air Force court reinstates airman’s death sentence for 2004 killing
New hearing for airman awaiting military execution
Only airman on military’s death row gets new sentencing hearing
U.S. v. Witt – U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (July 2016)
Nidal Hasan, and the 5 other men on the military’s death row
Description of Cases for those Sentenced to Death in U.S. Military
This former airman was spared the death penalty a 2nd time in 2004 double homicide case
Former airman from La Crosse off death row after new sentence in 2004 slayings
Murderous airman sentenced to death, still dodging execution after 12 years
Air Force SrA Andy Schliepsiek & Wife Jamie Stabbed to Death at Robins AFB Home; Military Court Re-sentenced SrA Andrew Witt From Death Penalty to Life In Prison, No Parole (July 5, 2004)
Four Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
What the DoD Doesn’t Want You to Know: 50 Shocking Military Homicides in the Last 30 Years (2018)