Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Oliver was found guilty of unpremeditated murder Wednesday in the killing of Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov in Germany after being charged in March of last year.
According to Stripes.com, Oliver was originally charged with murder, but the panel of four officers and six enlisted was allowed to consider lesser charges. He may still face life in prison despite the lesser charge.
Oliver’s penalty phase of the trial is set to start Thursday. He was also found guilty of obstruction of justice, making false official statements and assault.
Chepusov, a Navy broadcaster at American Forces Network, was found lifeless in the passenger seat of Oliver’s car by German police in the early hours of Dec. 14, 2013 in Kaiserslautern. Autopsies from German and American pathologists concluded he had been strangled.
Oliver, an AFN technician, acknowledged lying to German and Air Force investigators during testimony Friday. According to Oliver, he choked Chepusov after a night of drinking but did not intend to kill him. He said he suspected Chepusov to be dead and was on his way to dispose of the body when he was pulled over by police.
He originally plead not guilty to the charges.