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Andrew Paul WITT





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Senior Airman in the United States Air Force - Argument
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: July 5, 2004
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1982
Victim profile: Senior Airman (SrA) Andy Schliepsiek and his wife, Jamie Schliepsiek
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Robins Air Force Base, Houston County, Georgia, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on October 13, 2005

Andrew Paul Witt (born 1982) is a former Senior Airman in the United States Air Force who was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of a fellow Airman and his wife while he was an avionics technician in the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base.

Early life

Witt grew up in West Salem, Wisconsin and graduated, in 2000, from Aquinas High School in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He entered the Air Force in 2001 and was assigned to Robins Air Force Base in August 2002.

The crime

In the early morning hours of 5 July 2004, two bodies were discovered in a base house located at 1152A Fort Valley Street, Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia. Senior Airman (SrA) Andy Schliepsiek was found dead, lying on his back in the living room. He had been stabbed in the back and chest. His wife, Jamie Schliepsiek, was also dead. She was wearing only a t-shirt and underwear and lay approximately 10 feet away. There was a large blood stain on the wall behind Jamie’s body, and blood was also visible on the door, floor, nightstand, and bedroom lamp. At a nearby hospital, a third victim, SSgt Jason King, underwent a surgery for the five knife wound injuries sustained during a violent attack.

During the Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, Staff Sergeant Jason King testified that Senior Airman Andrew Schliepsiek became very angry when his wife told him during a July 4 cookout that Witt, an acquaintance of the others, had tried to kiss her the night before.


SrA Andrew Witt was found guilty of two specifications of premeditated murder of SrA Schliepsiek and his wife, Jamie, and one specification of attempted premeditated murder of then-Senior Airman Jason King.

In the presentencing phase, Witt submitted a written statement where he took responsibility for his actions but asked the jury to spare his life. It read:

I would like to apologize again to the Schliepsieks, the Bielenbergs, the Kings, my family, and the Air Force for my actions," he wrote. "My life has changed dramatically since that night, and I plan to continue to make changes. I want you to know that I am firmly resolved to lead a productive life in the service of others and will not wander from this path if given the chance. Please allow me to live so that I can do this. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

The Airman also discussed his Air Force career:

I regret losing my focus on the Air Force mission -- looking back, I do truly love the Air Force, and I have been proud to wear the uniform,” he wrote. "I understand that my actions mean that I will never wear it again once this trial is over, and I am sorry for that as well. I am sorry for the discredit I have brought upon the Air Force and the negative attention I have brought to Robins Air Force Base.

A military panel sentenced Airman Witt to death. His death sentence is the first Air Force death sentence since the United States vs. Jose Simoy in 1990, which on appeal, the death penalty was set aside and Simoy is currently serving life in prison.

Witt is now the only Airman to sit on death row at United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.


Accused airman faces hearing

By Jon Suggs -

November 17, 2004

Witt alleged to have stabbed couple to death, wounded another

MACON – The Article 32 hearing began Monday for a Robins Air Force Base airman accused of slaying two and injuring another this summer.

Senior Airman Andrew Paul Witt is charged with two counts of premeditated murder and one count of attempted murder for the July 5 deaths of Senior Airman Andrew Schliepsiek and his wife, Jamie, and the wounding of Senior Airman Jason King.

King was the first witness called to testify for the government’s case. He began by relating the relationship between the Schliepsieks and his family. He met Andy Schliepsiek back in April and the two quickly became friends. King’s wife, Page, also quickly befriended Jamie, King said, and the two regularly went shopping together, usually with the Kings’ daughter, 3-year- old Ramsey, who took to the Schliepsieks very quickly.

King did not meet Witt, another friend of Schliepsiek, until July 3. That evening, the two couples were gathered at the Kings’ on-base home on Sergeants Drive when Schliepsiek received a call from Witt, who asked if he could come over. King said OK, but retired shortly after Witt’s arrival, as he had a headache.

He only spent about 30 minutes in Witt’s company.

The next day, July 4, the two couples gathered again at the Kings in the afternoon, where they grilled ribs and drank beers and daiquiris, celebrating Independence Day.

Late that night, after Page had gone to bed, Jamie related how, the night before, the Schliepsieks went back to their home a couple of blocks away on Fort Valley Street.

Jamie said after Andy went to bed, Witt made a pass at her: He tried to kiss her, and she pushed him away.

Upon hearing this that next day, Andy “was not pleased,” King said.

A series of cell phone calls began to and from Witt, with both the Schliepsieks and King talking to him.

Witt was apologetic, King said, and told him he and Andy should come to his off-base home and sort him out.

“He said we should drive over there and kick his …,” King recalled.

Instead, shortly before 4 a.m., the three drove over to the Schliepsieks’ home, probably to get cigarettes, King said.

As they entered the house, King was on his cell phone with a friend of his who lived in Virginia. Jamie asked to talk to him, and King gave her the phone. She walked into the bedroom, and King followed because she had his phone, he said.

They then heard conversation from the living room, King said. He remembered Andy saying something like, “What are you doing in my house?” Then Witt came to the bedroom door. He was dressed in full military BDUs – camouflaged from boots to hat.

King said Witt looked into the bedroom and said, “Oh, good. You’re here, too.”

He then went back into the living room with Andy.

King ended the call to his friend and followed the two into the room. They were struggling when he entered, and Witt “seemed to be getting the better of Andy,” King said.

King approached and put Witt into a headlock and tried to talk to him.

“I said, ‘Dude, why don’t you just leave? Get out,’” King said.

As he did so, he said Witt hit him in the stomach.

He thought it was a punch, but as he moved away he said if felt “something was weird.”

He remembered Jamie yelling, “My god! You’re bleeding!”

King left the home through the kitchen door, with the intent of getting help.

He was struck several times in the back as he did so.

He made his way down the street and stopped at the only house with a light on, the 10th Street home of Tech Sgt. Jimmy Free.

Free called 911, and King was taken to the hospital.

He had a puncture wound just below his heart, three other stab wounds in his back and a laceration on one arm.

Following emergency surgery, King’s initial stay lasted 14 days. He would later return for a 15-day stay, after fluid built up in his chest and had a staph infection. In October he returned again for four days, as doctors removed a colostomy bag inserted during the first surgery.

Although King’s testimony was the longest Monday, it was not the most emotional.

Page King tearfully recalled in testimony that the doctor said it was “a miracle” he made it to the hospital.

At one point, remembering the Schliepsieks, she had to pause and collect herself before continuing.

Others who testified included Free and two security forces members who responded to the scene.

Staff Sgt. Perry Grimme and Tech Sgt. Michael Gonzales were the two who cleared the Schliepsiek home after the incident. On the stand, both described moving through the house, looking for a suspect and finding the bodies of Andy and Jamie Schliepsiek in the living room and bedroom, respectively.

Pictures of the crime scene, including both bodies, were shown during testimony by the next witness, Special Agent Alexander Wildes with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Another OSI officer, Special Agent Lamar E. Cromwell, testified next. It was Cromwell, with other agents, who apprehended Witt as he drove back to the crime scene with a friend.

The officer described how, under questioning, Witt first denied even being on base during the time when the crime occurred. Confronted with gate video that showed him entering the base at 1:45 a.m., Witt admitted being on base but denied being near the scene.

Eventually, he admitted to the crimes, Cromwell said, in both the verbal interview and a written statement.

That included how he attacked King, and his description closely matched King’s account. He also told how he had kicked in the locked bedroom door to get to Jamie and kill her, then returned to the living room, where Andy lay prone from his earlier attack.

“He stated that he stabbed him in the heart, he put it, ‘to finish him off,’” Cromwell said.

Cromwell read from the statement how Witt said he was not insane at the time.

“Basically, he said he let go and did these things,” Cromwell said.

He described it as being in “a euphoric state or a drunken state,” Cromwell said.

Earlier in the Article 32 hearing, Maj. Vance Spath, chief circuit trial counsel for the Air Force, said a sanity board found no evidence Witt was insane at the time of the attacks.

Spath is conducting the case with the assistance of Capt. Scott Williams of the 78th Air Base Wing Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Robins.

Witt is represented by civilian defense attorney Frank Spinner of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Capt. Darren Johnson of the Area Defense Counsel at Robins and Capt. Doug Rawald, circuit defense counsel from Bolling Air Force Base. Col. Mary Boone, a chief military judge from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, is the investigating officer in the Article 32 hearing, which is the preliminary evidence hearing under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Boone will make a recommendation to base commander Col. Greg Patterson, who will decided whether to recommend that Warner Robins Air Logistics Center commander Maj. Gen. Mike Collings convene a general court martial for Witt.

The hearing, which is being held at Bibb County Courthouse, was scheduled to continue with another full day of presentations Tuesday.



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