HANAU, GERMANY, APRIL 1 -- Nobody paid much attention at first to the shouts piercing the gloomy twilight at the U.S. Army airfield on a cold evening last December.

But as the cries grew more urgent, soldiers began glancing out barracks windows and saw two men struggling outside the mess hall at Sickles Army Air Field in Fulda, Germany.

One man straddled the other, who was on the pavement and putting up a losing battle. Some thought the two were horsing around until they saw the man on top repeatedly stab his opponent and then start sawing through the downed man's neck.

Finally the assailant stood and kicked the head of the now-still body several times until it rolled 10 or 15 feet away from the torso.

Then he picked up the head by its hair and began walking away. Stunned soldiers yelled at him. The assailant turned and looked at them, according to court testimony, and held up the head. "This is what you get for adultery," he said.

And then he climbed into his Honda with the head, according to prosecutors, and drove off to pay a visit to his wife.

Army Sgt. Stephen J. Schap, stiff-backed in his spotless green dress uniform, rose this afternoon in a military courtroom here to hear the verdict in his week-long court-martial charging him with the premeditated murder of his friend, Spec. Gregory Glover: guilty as charged.

As was the case throughout the week, Schap was impassive as he heard the verdict, which carries a mandatory life sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

The horror story had all the trappings of tabloid fare, and indeed some German publications have had a field day with "Jealous Husband Runs Amok With Head" items. But a second horror story emerged during the trial. It's about Stephen Schap, the eldest child in a close-knit Catholic family from Baltimore, who as a 14-year-old took on the role of father after his parents' painful divorce; Stephen Schap, a quiet but bright student who studied English and psychology at Loyola College in Baltimore and ranks in the 98th percentile for intelligence, according to tests performed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after the murder; Stephen Schap, a model soldier praised by superiors and rising quickly through the ranks; Stephen Schap, who last December hacked off a friend's head and in the process ruined his own life and many others.

In closing arguments today, Capt. Mike Mulligan, the crew-cut lead Army prosecutor, called the slaying "a cold, calculated" act of revenge by a hunter who skillfully tracked down his wife's lover. David Court, Schap's dapper civilian attorney, called the killing an act of "sudden passion," triggered by a friend's betrayal.

Along with a packed gallery of reporters and spectators, including two rows of Schap family members from Baltimore, the seven jurors -- four officers and three enlisted men -- listened intently all week to a story as sad as it is bizarre and gruesome.

The most emotion Schap showed was on Wednesday, when he stared plaintively for hours at his wife, Diane, a woman with short dark brown hair and pretty, delicate features, as she sat on the witness stand a few feet in front of him and testified for the prosecution.

Diane Schap, 26, never looked at her husband, staring straight ahead and talking in a soft but firm voice.

The loose gray dress she wore could not conceal her pregnancy.

She lost her composure only once, and that was when she described the remarkable scene that followed Glover's decapitation the night of Dec. 7.

After checking into a German hospital in Fulda that day, she had been obliged to confess to her husband that she was pregnant by another man.

A few hours later she was speaking by phone with that other man, Glover, a personable 21-year-old soldier who was a friend to both the Schaps. The line suddenly went dead. Now, around a half-hour later, she heard footsteps coming quickly down the hospital hallway. She recognized them as her husband's.

The door burst open, and there stood Stephen Schap, according to her testimony, his chest heaving, clothes speckled with blood. He was carrying a Head gym bag. "He had the sports bag over his shoulder, and it looked like it was full," she said.

It was. Her husband reached into the bag, she said, and pulled out Glover's head.

"He grasped the head in both hands and he tried to push it in my face. I kept screaming and screaming," she said, sobbing as she testified.

"Look, Diane -- Glover's here! He'll sleep with you every night now. Only you won't sleep -- because all you'll see is this," Stephen Schap told her, according to her testimony.

Doctors who had heard the terrified screams ran to the room. There they found Diane Schap, her face pale with shock, bedclothes spattered with blood. Stephen Schap sat at the foot of the bed, across his wife's legs. And on the night stand, facing Diane Schap, was Glover's head.

Stephen Schap seemed to welcome the doctors' arrival, according to testimony. "Listen to everything I have to say -- remember as much as you can," he told them, according to his wife.

Uneasily closing the door behind them, two of the doctors took seats in the room and listened as Schap told his tale. "He looked to me, sometimes to his wife, sometimes to the head," testified Peter Habermann, the chief of the ward.

Habermann admitted on the stand that he was terrified when he entered the room, but as the sergeant spoke, the doctor felt calmer. "I no longer felt threatened," he said. "What he wanted now was to explain to someone why he'd done it."

'He Loved Her'

The couple met in March 1989 on a flight from London to Baltimore. Diane was returning from England to visit an aunt and uncle in Hagerstown.

"I've met the most incredible girl," Stephen Schap told a cousin, Randy Miller. "I've never been able to communicate as freely with any girl."

Six months later they were married.

"He worshiped the ground she walked on," his mother, Marianne Schap, testified. "He loved her."

His parents' divorce had left him determined about one thing, according to his mother: "If he ever got married, it would be for life," she testified. "He would do anything to keep his family together."

Early in the marriage, Diane Schap suffered three difficult miscarriages, each more painful than the last. After the last one, Diane Schap said, she decided to have a tubal ligation. Stephen intervened. "He insisted he would rather go through with a vasectomy," said Diane.

Friends and family said they were shocked when they heard what he had done, considering the importance he had always given to raising a family of his own.

But Stephen Schap told his father, John, that the couple could adopt children. "He did not want to see {Diane} suffer anymore," John Schap testified.

Schap did something else that surprised his family and friends -- he quit his job with his father's construction firm and joined the Army. He was hoping, according to testimony, to spend more time with his wife and to learn to fly.

In 1992 Schap was sent to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fulda, where he was assigned to the aviation squadron as a helicopter mechanic.

On the stand here, his superiors uniformly praised him as hard-working and dependable. "One of the most professional soldiers I've ever dealt with," said Staff Sgt. John Streeter, his section sergeant.

The Schaps had friends in Fulda. One was Spec. Gregory Glover, a fresh-faced, handsome helicopter crewman from Phoenix described by those who knew him as down-to-earth and cheerful.

Glover and Stephen Schap would exchange CDs, and the specialist would sometimes stop by the Schaps' apartment and be invited in for conversation or dessert.

'I Didn't Love Him'

After what Diane called a happy first year of marriage, she said she found herself frustrated by communication problems. "I had been communicating my feelings, but had been rebuffed," she testified. "He usually wasn't very responsive."

The problems grew worse in Germany, she said, and she began to believe there was no hope for the marriage. Stephen Schap, according to the defense, was given no clues of such problems. Prosecutors said he just ignored them.

In early September 1993, Stephen Schap left Fulda for a month to attend a platoon leaders' course. In his absence, Diane spent some time with Gregory Glover.

At the end of September, the relationship became sexual, Diane Schap testified. She and Glover got together at least a half dozen times while her husband was away, having sex without birth control, she said.

In October, she testified, Diane Schap learned she was pregnant. A few weeks later she informed Glover. He was concerned about her health, she said, but excited about the child. Glover "wanted to be very involved as the father of his child."

The next month Diane told her husband she wanted to split up. He was upset and surprised, she said, but agreed to start the process. But when they discussed it further, he tried to change her mind, she said.

"I told him there had been too much pain, that things had changed, that I didn't love him," she testified. If that was how she felt, she says he told her, there was no point in continuing.

Diane Schap left Fulda to visit a girlfriend the first weekend of December, surreptitiously spending a day with Glover, she testified. While she was gone, according to testimony, her husband searched through the house, looking for clues as to what had gone wrong in their relationship.

What he found -- indications that his wife had cheated, according to testimony -- upset him greatly, and he called his father. "You have to be strong," John Schap said he counseled.

When Diane arrived home the evening of Dec. 5, Stephen was waiting for her. "He told me he'd done something he regretted," she testified. "He told me he had read through my diary."

Stephen asked her whether she had been unfaithful, according to Diane Schap, and she assured him she had not. "He seemed satisfied," she said.

They went to see the chaplain the next day to make arrangements for Diane to go home. "We had reached an amicable settlement," she said.

Diane Schap said she had plans to seek a job in Baltimore. Glover was being transferred shortly to Fort Bragg, N.C., and they had spoken about marriage, she testified.

The Truth Comes Out

On Dec. 7, with her husband already up and at work, Diane Schap arose and, after showering and dressing, noticed she was bleeding.

She had an acquaintance drive her to Herz-Jesu, a German hospital in Fulda, where she was told she would have to stay at least a week because of pregnancy complications. "I realized my husband would have to be told," she said.

She called a friend, Sgt. 1st Class Russell Bates, and asked him to deliver a message to Glover that she was in the hospital. "What about your husband?" Bates asked. "I said, 'If you see him, just tell him where I am,' " she said.

Bates did see Schap, and the sergeant hurried to the hospital. He walked into his wife's room expressing concern over her condition, she said, assuming it involved an ovarian cyst she had told him about earlier.

"I told him I had something to tell him that he would find very difficult," she testified. "I told him I was pregnant as the result of an extramarital affair."

Stephen Schap's first response was "great concern" for her health, she said. "He knew that the marriage had failed," she said, and hoped she would not lose the baby.

He offered to go and gather some toiletries and clothes from the house, asking "would I let him be a friend in that way," she said.

They agreed that it would be better for her not to reveal the name of the father, she said.

More than an hour passed before her husband returned. This time, she said, he seemed agitated and said he felt sick to his stomach.

He wondered about the father's rank, she said, and she told him he was a specialist, a lower-ranking soldier.

He demanded to know where she and her lover had made love, Diane Schap testified. In the bedroom? On the couch? She told him on a quilt on their apartment floor. "He said, 'I don't want to live in the apartment anymore,' " she said.

Stephen Schap left the hospital, saying he was going to pack his belongings, according to her testimony.

Sometime after 5, Diane Schap received a phone call from Glover. He had just learned from Bates that she was in the hospital, and was calling from a pay phone at the airfield.

"He was very upset, very worried about me and the child," Diane Schap said. She assured him that the pregnancy was intact. Glover told her that Stephen Schap had given him a lift earlier in the day, and that the sergeant had discussed his marital problems.

Glover and Diane Schap had been speaking for five or 10 minutes, Diane testified, when Glover suddenly swore twice. The second expletive was "cut off mid-breath," she said. "Then all I heard was the dial tone." The Stabbing

Glover suffered slight knife wounds in the telephone booth, according to testimony, then tried to escape on foot. He ran a short distance but slipped and fell, and Schap was quickly on top of him, according to witnesses.

Glover was stabbed with a knife 10 to 15 times, according to prosecutors. Then, they allege, Schap used the knife to make repeated cuts through Glover's neck, leaving what the pathologist called a "very ragged" wound.

Pfc. Anthony Penny, Glover's roommate, witnessed the attack and yelled for someone to call the MPs. He ran outside, where he saw Glover's head roll away, and promptly threw up.

"He even said he was sorry," Schap said sarcastically of Glover as he walked away from the murder scene, according to Penny.

'I Did This for You'

Diane Schap lay in her bed at the hospital wondering what could have happened, thinking at first that Glover had had a problem with the phone.

The answer came soon enough when Stephen Schap showed up with the gym bag.

In the 20 minutes or so after he pulled out Glover's head and before he was taken away by the police, Stephen Schap talked and talked, both to the doctors who had come in the room and to his wife, according to testimony.

Although he was agitated, "everything he said was lucid," said Diane Schap.

"You know, you gave me enough clues. It was easy enough to figure out," Stephen Schap told his wife, according to her testimony.

"I studied this, I planned this, I calculated this," he continued, she said. "I did this for you. I love you."

He told the doctors that he would surrender peacefully to U.S. military police when they arrived. But he objected when one of the doctors tried to cover the head with a towel.

"No, sit down, leave it the way it is," he said, according to his wife.

The next day, in the custody of the MPs, Schap called his father in Baltimore. According to John Schap, his son told him this: "Dad, I'm sorry I let you down. I wasn't strong enough."