The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the death sentence of Timothy Hennis, the former Fort Bragg soldier convicted of murdering an Air Force wife and her two young children. A four-judge panel filed its opinion following a mandated review of alleged court martial errors. His 2010 military trial was the third time Hennis was tried on charges of killing Kathryn Eastburn and two of her daughters Kara, 5, and Erin, 3 at their Summerhill Road home. The court found that Hennis’ claims of double jeopardy were without merit, as was his claim that the Army did not have jurisdiction in the Fayetteville murders. Hennis is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Hennis was initially convicted in Cumberland County Superior Court and put on death row in 1986. He won an appeal and was found not guilty in a new trial in Wilmington in 1989. In 2006 the Army brought Hennis out of retirement to face a court-martial on the charges after DNA evidence not available at the earlier trials linked him to the murders. Hennis can now seek relief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces before ultimately appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Storm Debris Collection Disappointing
In the wake of the 2011 tornado that struck Fayetteville, city officials decided to contract with a private disaster relief trucking company. The idea was to have the company on standby in case another storm struck our area. Three days after Hurricane Matthew hit Fayetteville, the contractor, CrowderGulf of Alabama, was contacted. The company’s project manager, Barrett Holmes, told City Council it took the company four days to respond. It was another month before the firm geared up with an adequate number of crews on the job. “We failed,” Holmes told the council. By mid-November, most neighborhoods had not had storm debris collected. “Limb collection began Friday (Nov. 11),” said Environmental Services spokesperson Jackie Tuckey. She said the contractor concentrated on collecting construction debris the first few weeks. CrowderGulf now has six crews and trucks working seven days a week, Tuckey said, and the city is assisting with additional crews.
FTCC Among the Best for Military
Fayetteville Technical Community College has been designated a Top School by Military Advanced Education and Transition in its 2017 Guide to Colleges & Universities. The guide will be released next month. It contains the results of a questionnaire of policies enacted at hundreds of institutions. From community colleges to online schools, the 2017 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about schools that best serve men and women in uniform. Now in its tenth year of publication, the guide is the first reference tool of its kind. Institutions were evaluated on military culture, financial aid, flexibility, general support, on-campus support and online support services. Prospective students can target schools that follow best practices in military education and put them in context with other academic or career considerations. “We want to be a dynamic resource for those looking to further their educations and careers. A key part of that is finding the right school, and it can be a confusing process for military members to navigate,” said Kelly Fodel, Military Advanced Education & Transition’s editor-in-chief.
Educator W.T. Brown Dead at 87
Retired Fayetteville educator William T. Brown passed away on Nov, 14. He was 87. Dr. Brown is remembered as an icon in public education. “This is a very significant loss for anyone associated with Fayetteville State University,” said Dr. James Anderson, FSU Chancellor. Brown was Trustee Emeritus of Fayetteville State and served on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. He retired as an Associate Superintendent of Cumberland County Schools in 1992. He served as principal of Washington Drive Junior High School from 1963 to 1971 during government-mandated desegregation of public schools and later was named principal of E.E. Smith High School. Brown became an assistant superintendent and then an associate superintendent for Fayetteville City Schools and later Cumberland County Schools following the merger.
A native of Durham, Brown graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1948 and North Carolina Central University in 1954. He completed graduate studies at Columbia University in 1961 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968. He held honorary doctorate degrees from Fayetteville State University and Shaw University.
Disaster Response Training
North Carolina Emergency Management is offering Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) basic training to Cumberland County residents in December. Seats are limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis for the 21 hours of training held over three days. CERT Basic Training covers the skills needed in the aftermath of a disaster when standard emergency services are not immediately available. Residents who complete the training can assist in saving lives and protecting property using basic techniques taught in the course. The December CERT classes will be held at Fayetteville Technical Community College, 2201 Hull Rd., Fayetteville, on Dec. 2 - 4. For information about meeting times, contact Marlin Scott at 309-9995. Register for the course online at https://terms.ncem.org/TRS/logon.do.
Gambling Operation Disrupted
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Homeland Security have conducted a joint criminal investigation into a Korean-run gambling operation, which has resulted in the execution of search warrants and the issuance of arrest warrants for some of the persons involved in the organization. Sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Swain says the group is headed in Cumberland County by Gyoung Lok Lee. He has been charged with operating a continuing criminal enterprise, two counts of operating five or more video poker machines and felony conspiracy. The group has been linked to other gambling operations in Flushing, New York, Irving, Texas, and Los Angeles. Sheriff’s Office Detectives have obtained search warrants for six locations, five of them in Cumberland County and one in Raleigh. Additionally, Smith says the Sheriff’s Office will be executing search warrants at several local banks related to accounts in which gambling proceeds were being laundered. Others charged in the operation were: Jay Hugh Pridgen and Eric Murillo both of 3206 University Ave., Fayetteville and Allen Larson of 5970 Lakeway Drive, Fayetteville.