Military Jury Convicts Soldier of Murder 20 Years After his Civilian Acquittal
More than 20 years after his acquittal in civilian court, a soldier has been convicted of a triple murder by a military jury.
This time prosecutors relied on DNA tests that had not been available in the earlier trial of Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis, according to stories in the New York Times, the Associated Press and the Fayetteville Observer.
Defense lawyers had argued the DNA belonging to Hennis in sperm that was found on the slain mother established sexual contact, but not murder, the AP story says. The woman, Kathryn Eastburn, was killed along with her two daughters, ages 5 and 3, in 1985.
Double jeopardy barred a retrial in state court, but not in military court, according to the Times. The military recalled Hennis to active service so he could stand trial by the military court at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Hennis had been sentenced to death in 1986 in his first civilian trial, but the verdict was overturned and he was acquitted in a retrial.