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Hasan joins 5 murderers on military's only death row

Aug. 30, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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The last man executed at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was John Bennett, hanged in 1961 for raping and choking an 11-year-old Austrian girl in 1954.

Sometime in the next few days, Maj. Nidal Hasan, convicted Wednesday of killing 13 people and injuring 32 when he opened fire at a deployment processing center at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009, will have new neighbors on death row at the military’s only maximum security prison.

They are:

Army Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis

Called out of retirement to face his third trial for the murders of a mother and two of her children in Fayetteville, N.C., in 1985, Hennis was convicted in April 2010 after DNA evidence surfaced in the case. Hennis had been convicted in civilian court of the murders of Air Force wife Kathryn Eastburn and her daughters Kara, 5, and Erin, 3, but was later acquitted in a second trial ordered by the N.C. Supreme Court. The development of DNA testing and evidence left behind at the crime scene — Eastham apparently had been raped — later provided enough proof to send Hennis to the military’s only death row.

Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar, 101st Airborne Division.

Akbar was convicted in April 2005 of killing two Army officers and wounding 14 soldiers in an attack March 23, 2003, at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait. Akbar threw M67 fragmentation grenades into tents and fired at fleeing soldiers with his M-4 carbine on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Army Capt. Christopher Scott Seifert was killed instantly; Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone died two days later from shrapnel that pierced his neck. One of Akbar’s court-appointed attorneys was Capt. David Coombs, now a civilian, who most recently defended Pvt. Bradley Manning during his court-martial for espionage.

Senior Airman Andrew Witt, 116th Air Control Wing

On July 3, 2004, Andrew Witt made a pass at Jamie Schliepsiek, the wife of another senior airman at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Ga. Husband Andy Schliepsiek and another service member, Jason King, called Witt and allegedly threatened to tell Witt’s commander about an affair Witt had with a lieutenant colonel’s wife. Witt donned his camouflage uniform, grabbed a combat knife and drove to the Schliepsieks’ home, where he stabbed the couple and King 13 times each. King survived; Witt was convicted Oct. 13, 2005, for the murders.

Spc. 4 Ronald Gray, 82nd Airborne Division

Convicted in 1988 for raping and killing Fayetteville, N.C., cab driver Kimberly Ann Ruggles and raping and stabbing Army Pvt. Laura Lee-Vickery-Clay to death, Gray is the longest resident of the barracks’ death row. He also attempted to murder Army Private Mary Ann Lang Nameth, attacking her in her barracks and stabbing her repeatedly in the neck, but the injured Nameth survived. He was sentenced to three consecutive life terms in civilian court and sentenced to death on April 12, 1988, during a court-martial for premeditated murder, rape, robbery and forcible sodomy.

Army Pvt. Dwight J. Loving, Fort Hood, Texas

In December 1988, Loving went on a robbery and killing spree, shooting two cab drivers in Killeen, Texas: Army Pvt. Christopher Fay, working nights to make extra money, and retired Army Master Sgt. Bobby Sharbino. He robbed a third cabbie, Howard Harrison, but Harrison knocked the pistol from Loving’s hands. During his two-day crime jag, Loving also robbed two 7-Elevens.

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