Three months later, cops cuffed Ganthier, and he reportedly confessed to the heinous homicide. Because the verdict was not unanimous, he could not receive the death penalty. A military jury can convict a person on a two thirds vote.
But in court, he recently pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Meanwhile, the tragedy still mystifies Koster's family. Results of the balloting are secret, a military official said.
After a night of partying, Rebecca Koster was dropped off at her home by her boyfriend and two friends.
She was home alone when 30-year-old Evan Ganthier reportedly slipped in and plunged a knife into her chest four times. He also was convicted of felony murder, attempted rape and assault while attempting to commit rape.
She apparently broke free and reached the corridor.
Neighbors then heard a scream, followed by three or four shots.
One of her terrified dormitory mates, barricaded behind doors, looked through a window and saw a van drive away with its headlights off. In room 206, Graves had tied bootlaces on the bed so he could restrain her, Schmidt said.
They encountered African American farm worker Betty Gardner as she walked along the side of the road.
Gardner was alternately sexually assaulted, urinated on, stomped, beaten with a belt, hit with a jagged bottle, stabbed with a knife, and choked with a garden hose.