published Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Former Fort Campbell soldier facing new charge dating to 1994

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A former Fort Campbell soldier whose conviction in the slayings of four Taco Bell employees was overturned is now facing a robbery charge from 1994.

The state is currently deciding whether to retry David G. Housler of Radcliff, Ky., in the case in which employees were shot execution-style at the Clarksville Taco Bell, also that year.

Housler's attorney questioned the timing of the indictment, which comes close to 20 years after the alleged crime took place. He maintains the state doesn't have the evidence to convict Housler if it tried him again in the Taco Bell murders.

"I think this is an effort to put pressure on (Housler) and exert as much leverage as they can in any negotiations about trying to resolve this matter without another trial," said Paul Hemmersbaugh, a Washington, D.C. attorney representing Housler. He said the state could have easily charged Housler with the robbery any time when he was in prison. He also says that the statute of limitations on the robbery case has expired.

The indictment accuses Housler of robbing a man outside Grandpa's Hardware Store in Clarksville in January of 1994 and taking $110 in cash along with several credit cards from the victim.

The four Taco Bell employees were shot in the middle of a robbery a week after that holdup. Another former soldier, Courtney Matthews, was convicted of first-degree murder for the slayings at the restaurant. Matthews is serving life in prison for being the gunman in the robbery and killings. The employees were killed inside the restaurant in the early morning hours. Housler was implicated by authorities as the getaway driver and lookout.

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