The Fayetteville Observer reports herethat the government rested today.  The government presented the DNA evidence today, which the Fayetteville Observer summarized:

The state’s last witness testified that a sperm sample taken from Kathryn Eastburn’s body belonged to Hennis. . . .

Jennifer Hopper is the former forensic biologist with the State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab who tested a vaginal swab taken from Eastburn’s body.

Hopper said the DNA profile found in the sperm matched Hennis. She said she used a database of the North Carolina population to calculate the chances that another white male would have the same DNA profile and found odds of 12.1 thousand trillion to one.

The Defense is set to begin its case today.

14 Responses to “Hennis Capital Court-Martial: Gov’t Rests”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Defense attorneys presented two witnesses who questioned the evidence, one a forensic technician who said Hennis’ DNA was not found.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sounds strange,the Army Criminal lab tests come back partial or no match in this case. But A former test from the State Bureau of Investigation says they have A match. Is this A State Case or A Federal Case?

  3. Ama Goste says:

    Federal (military) case using evidence from whatever source is available.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ok Thanks,But the Federal results don’t concur with the State’s results.So which is stronger?I realize at the end of the day A Federal Jury (Military) will have to decide.Unless of course the defense makes a strong enough case of the opened boxes with the containers that contained the DNA.The chain of custody in the DNA so far sounds extremely week at best.Who knows by the end of the trial the DNA results may be thrown out because of the chain of custody.

  5. Anon says:

    evidence is evidence, it is neither Federal nor State.

    As for which is stronger? The answer to that question is solely in the hands of the panel (jury).

  6. JWS says:

    I question the math. The statistic testified to by the witness sound more than a little suspicious. This level of certainty is generally not possible. It might be interesting for a bio-statistician to deconstruct her numbers.

  7. Phil Cave says:

    An Army expert says DNA taken form a woman killed in a 1985 triple slaying in North Carolina matches a retired soldier once acquitted but now charged again in the deaths. . . . The DNA samples were from a vaginal smear obtained during an autopsy of Kathryn Eastburn.

  8. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    JWS: Just the phrasing sounded a little odd to me, glad I am nto the only one.

  9. Anonymous says:

    An Army expert says DNA taken form a woman killed in a 1985 triple slaying in North Carolina matches a retired soldier once acquitted but now charged again in the deaths. . . . The DNA samples were from a vaginal smear obtained during an autopsy of Kathryn Eastburn.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I believe everyone has read this Article along with the 100 others posted on the Internet.Whats your point?Last time I checked the charges at hand,this so called evidence may have very little to do with anything.Keep in mind this is the test coming from the SBI lab.The same lab where the caretaker of the evidence was fired.All other tests done by the Military or the defense are inconclusive or flat out A non-match.And the numbers that were posted with this result.It’s not possible.According to the news this morning they have called for A Mistrial.

  11. Cap'n Crunch says:

    Does anyone know whether any plea deals were offered in this case? It does not seem like the strongest case (maybe hennis was shagging the victim — but where is the evidence he killed her — or maybe the husband did it when he discovered that she was shagging hennis — a lot of possibilities). But maybe I have that all wrong.

    That said, if I were defending Hennis, and they offered to plea this down to an Article 119, can’t say I wouldn’t advise Hennis to think about that long and hard.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Crunch I think everyone has entertained the thought of what you have written.
    Evidence,Evidence what has the prosecution (TC) really proved in this case? The FBI testified that they could show no link between the accused and the crime scene.The SBI lab which tested The DNA,was compromised.The SBI lab caretaker of the evidence was fired for misconduct.Out of the 6 DNA test only 1 suggest A possible match,funny enough its the one from the State.The ones the prosecution (Military) done came back inconclusive or a Non Match.One of the key witness’s for the prosecution was arrested that same year for ATM card theft.But yet the judge said his past criminal history was not a part of the case.They asked for A Mistrial this morning saying the Judge was showing partiality for the prosecution.He didn’t even let the jury hear The DNA results that the Military did according to all the newspaper articles(The ones that showed the Non-Match).So all the Evidence presented so far points toward the Accused he is Innocent.What do we really have hear?No witness can say with certainty that he was there.The FBI can show no link.20 years later A DNA sample came from the state,but all other tests done either by the Military or Defense doesn’t match there results.Plus that in no way makes him Guilty of the crimes he is charged with.So there is more than reasonable doubt that he is innocent of the crimes he has been charged with.And who is to say that A witness didn’t see him the night he picked up the dog and also seen his car.Seems that sketch was better than mearly seeing a man for a brief second passing in the dark at 3 am in the morning.Mr. Crunch also I really think the babysitter has to testify.Not saying she has anything to do with the crime.But she may know or someone may have confided in her of what was actually going on.

  13. Cap'n Crunch says:

    I don’t know anything about the case. Seems like you know more than me and perhaps are connected to the case or to the accused. I just look at it from an outsider’s perspective, who has litigated more than a couple court-martials over the years.

    There is no question that there is sufficient evidence to submit this to the members. But at the end of the day, is there really sufficient evidence to convict him? Again, seems like a “win” for the government to offer the 119 plea deal if he takes it — and perhaps a “win” for Hennis too.

    Not to mention, if the MJ is excluding evidence or issuing rulings that are one-sided for the government (not that such a practice doesn’t occur on a usual basis in a number of cases), and Hennis is convicted, that will be even more issues (beyond the expected threshold jurisdictional issue that we already have) that we will see in 10-12 years when the case gets to CAAF on appeal (pardon my jab at the MilJus system’s inherent slowness when it comes to capital court martials).

    The service appeals courts, and CAAF to some extent, allow a certain amount of pushing down on the scales in favor of the government by a military judge in a lot of cases, but that tendency to allow it in a normal case seems to go away when it comes to capital court martial review with a death penalty case.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well I know alot of people have formed there own opions in this case.To be honest I support the 5th Amendment of The United States.(Double jeopardy)

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Did you know the Very first line of A Soldiers Oath.

    “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;

    Now is it fair that the Military aren’t guarnteed the same rights as everyone else?