Tennessee Appeals Court Approves New Trial For Ex-Soldier - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Appeals Court Approves New Trial For Ex-Soldier

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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee appeals court has ruled that a former Fort Campbell soldier convicted of taking part in the execution-style shootings at a Taco Bell in Clarksville had shoddy legal representation and should get a new trial.

Judge Norma McGee Ogle ordered the case of 39-year-old David Gene Housler sent back to Montgomery County Circuit Court. Ogle concluded that Housler's attorneys failed to challenge several aspects of a plea agreement that collapsed and testimony against Housler.

Housler and another former soldier, Courtney B. Matthews, were convicted of first-degree murder for the 1994 slayings of Kevin Campbell, Patricia Price, and Angela Wyatt and Marsha Klopp. Housler was allegedly the getaway driver in the murders.

Matthews was serving four life sentences without parole.

In a 200-plus page opinion in September 2010, Montgomery County court Judge John Gasaway ruled that Housler had shoddy representation when his case was defended back in 1997

Gasaway overturned Housler's conviction, based on a long-standing claim that Housler had been "tricked" into a confession and that his defense attorney acted recklessly.

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.  

Ogle's ruling upholds Gasaway's decision. No new trial date has been set. Housler, who was from Radcliff, Kentucky, was free on bond.

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(NewsChannel 5 and The Associated Press.)

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