Judge's Ruling Upsets Victims' Families - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Judge's Ruling Upsets Victims' Families


by Brent Frazier

Clarksville, TENN - A judge's ruling on Thursday to overturn a 15-year-old murder conviction is upsetting to family members of the four victims whose lives David G. Housler helped take. All four were closing employees at the Taco Bell on Riverside Drive.

The 36-year-old Housler was convicted in November 1997 of four counts of first-degree murder in the execution style shootings of Kevin Campbell, Patricia Price, and Angela Wyatt; and on-duty manager Marsha Klopp, who was, according to surviving family members, not shot execution style, but likely surprised the intruder and was shot in the leg and chest.

"If he's innocent, and he's served all this time, I'm sorry," Chris Rogers told NewsChannel 5 on Saturday afternoon. Rogers is victim Marsha Klopp's stepsister, and one of the last people to see the 24-year-old alive the night of January 30, 1994.

"But if he's not (innocent), and they have proof, he needs to get what he deserves."

Montgomery County court judge John Gasaway, in a 200-plus page opinion, ruled that Housler, in short, had shoddy representation when his case was defended back in 1997; that his defense attorney acted recklessly. Also, the judge noted, Housler was misled into thinking he was being offered a reprieve from the courts:   a lighter sentence, in an unrelated robbery case, in exchange for vital information in the Taco Bell murders, for which Courtney B. Mathews was eventually convicted as the primary killer of all four victims.

Housler was convicted, merely of being the lookout guy and driver of the getaway car.

Gassaway ruled that Housler's conviction should be overturned, and a new trial date set. Furthermore, no prior evidence, in terms of Housler's self implication, will be admissible in court.

Today, Housler is 15 years into his sentence in the State prison system. Chris Rogers will follow this second trial closely, if there's a trial at all.

"If he's guilty, I don't think it's fair," Rogers said, reacting to the judge's recent ruling. Rogers said her parents brought her up to believe in God and that even if he gets away with murder here on Earth, "he'll get (his) when he meets our Maker."

Rogers told NewsChannel 5 that her sister, Marsha Klopp, had three children when she was murdered. Today, all three of them are grown. The eldest child, Marissa, now lives in Minnesota, and has two children of her own; the middle, George, is now 19, married and enrolled in the military at Fort Hood; and Ashley, now 17, is living in Pennsylvania.

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