Hennis Trial Underway

March 19, 2010

At Fort Bragg, a military jury is hearing evidence in the death penalty trial of Master Sergeant Tim Hennis.  Yesterday the jury heard from a former FBI agent who did forensic blood tests on material found at the crime scene.  This testing was done years before the advent of DNA technology; rather the agent was matching enzymes from blood in the sample to enzymes in blood known to have been taken from the victim and the defendant.  Although the tests revealed enzymes matching the victim, there was no match to Tim Hennis.

The defense also raised questions about the handling of evidence over the last 20 years.  Some envelopes which are supposed to contain hair and fiber samples are empty, and there seems to be no explanation for what happened to the evidence.

Hennis Jury Nears Completion

March 15, 2010

Eleven jurors have been seated in the Fort Bragg trial of Master Sergeant Timothy Hennis.  Hennis is facing the death penalty in military court for a triple homicide of which he was acquitted in civilian court.  At least one more juror will be seated before the evidence begins.

NC Capital Trial Update

March 2, 2010

Evidence in the Cumberland County death penalty trial of Abdullah El-Amin Shareef will resume tomorrow morning.  Shareef is charged in a 2004 killing, but was declared incompetent to stand trial until this year.

Jury selection has begun at Fort Bragg in the court martial of Master Sergeant Timothy Hennis.  Hennis is facing the death penalty in military court for a 1985 triple-murder of which he was acquitted in civilian court.

Hennis Trial Delayed Until April 2010 at Earliest

January 21, 2010

The military death penalty trial of Master Sergeant Timothy Hennis has been put off until sometime after March so that additional DNA testing can be completed.

Hennis has already been tried twice for the 1985 murders of Kathryn Eastburn and her children.  Although initially convicted and sentenced to death, Hennis was found not guilty at the second trial.  Hennis returned to the Army and retired in 2004, but was called back to duty to face the murder charges a third time in military court, where double jeopardy protections do not apply.

More details are here.

Hennis Pretrial Hearing – Photo Lineups

August 19, 2009

Back in 1985, two potential witnesses were shown a photo array containing a picture of Master Sergeant Timothy Hennis.  The man picked Hennis’ photograph right away, but later had doubts.  The woman first told police she couldn’t remember seeing anyone at all.  Then she said she thought she saw a man.  After picking Hennis’ photo from the lineup, she told police that she’d probably picked him because she had seen his photograph in a newspaper article connected to the case.

Twenty years and two trials later, both witnesses now say they are positive Tim Hennis is the man they saw.  A judge will decide whether this evidence is reliable enough to be admitted at Hennis’ upcoming military trial.  Hennis could face the death penalty if convicted.

Click here to learn more about eyewitness misidentification.

New Trial Date Set for Tim Hennis

July 29, 2009

Tim Hennis will stand trial in a Fort Bragg courtroom early next year, a judge ruled this week.  Hennis’ trial is scheduled to begin February 22nd.  Hennis’ next court date will be a hearing in August at which the court will decide whether the testimony of two alleged eyewitnesses is reliable enough to be heard by a jury.

Hennis Pre-Trial Hearing Tomorrow

July 21, 2009

Master Sergeant Timothy Hennis will appear in a Fort Bragg courtroom tomorrow morning for a pre-trial hearing.  Two more pre-trial hearings are expected before the actual trial begins in September.  It will be the third time Hennis has faced the death penalty for a 1985 triple murder.


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