NASHVILLE - A former Fort Campbell soldier convicted of taking part in execution-style slayings at a Taco Bell in Clarksville, Tenn., had shoddy legal representation and should get a new trial, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ruled.
The ruling written by Judge Norma McGee Ogle means that 39-year-old David Gene Housler will face a jury 19 years after the slayings of Kevin Campbell and Angela Wyatt, both 22, Patricia Price, 39, and on-duty manager Marsha Klopp, 24, all employees of the restaurant. Police said Campbell, Price and Wyatt were shot execution-style, while Klopp was shot in the leg and chest after apparently surprising the killer during a robbery.
Ogle, joined by judges Jerry L. Smith and Roger A. Page, ruled that Housler's attorneys failed to challenge several aspects of a plea agreement that collapsed and testimony against Housler. Ogle wrote that those failures rendered the attorneys ineffective in their defense.
Housler and another former soldier, Courtney B. Matthews, were convicted of first-degree murder for the 1994 slayings. Matthews, 38, is serving life in prison for being the gunman in the robbery and killings. Housler was implicated as the getaway driver and lookout.
NASHVILLE - Former state Republican Party chairwoman Robin Smith has been appointed to the Tennessee Economic Council on Women.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville and House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville announced the appointment.
Smith, of Hamilton County, served as chairwoman of the party from 2007 to 2009. During her tenure, state Republicans gained majorities in both houses of the General Assembly for the first time since Reconstruction.
The council is a state agency created to assess the economic status of Tennessee women and help them achieve financial independence.
ELLIJAY, Ga. - The Gilmer County Health Department's drive-by flu shot clinic is set for Oct. 3 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Ellijay, a news release states.
Regular seasonal flu shots are $22 and high-dose flu shots for people 65 and older are $50. Cash, checks, Medicare, Medi-caid and Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, state Cigna and state United Healthcare insurance will be accepted. For more information, call 706-635-4363.
DALTON, Ga. - The Whitfield County Republican Party will host a "Freedom Rocks" festival and free concert in downtown Dalton on Sept. 28.
The community event will take place on King Street in Dalton and is open to all, according to a news release. Festivities will begin at 3 p.m. and end with a free outdoor concert by the Buckner Brothers Band.
Up to 60 free booth spaces will be available for groups that would like to showcase their products and services. To reserve a space, send an email with contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Event" as the subject.
For more information, call party chairman Chuck Payne at 706-271-8212 or email email@example.com.