An Army private was found guilty of premeditated murder today for bludgeoning to death a fellow soldier in a beating prosecutors said was motivated by his hatred of homosexuals.
Pvt. Calvin N. Glover, 18, was convicted of using a baseball bat to crush Pfc. Barry Winchell's skull as he slept on a cot at their Fort Campbell barracks on July 5.
Defense attorneys argued that another soldier, Spec. Justin R. Fisher, 25, who was charged as an accessory, goaded Glover into the attack.
Before the start of the court-martial, Glover admitted to a lesser charge of unpremeditated murder in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence. But prosecutor Capt. Gregg Engler pressed on with the court-martial, seeking to prove the more serious charge of premeditated murder.
When he offered his plea, Glover sobbed while recalling the killing to the judge, Col. Gary J. Holland. He said he did not know why he hit Winchell "at least two or three times" with a bat.
"I wasn't really mad at him, sir. It was just a mistake, sir. I was really drunk," Glover told the judge.
During the trial, Staff Sgt. Michael Kleifgen testified that Fisher started spreading rumors in March among members of their unit that Winchell was gay. Fisher often harassed Winchell and once, during a scuffle, struck him with a dustpan, Kleifgen said. Winchell needed stitches in his head.
Glover, who is from Sulphur, Okla., could get up to life in prison without parole. Fisher, who is from Lincoln, Neb., will be court-martialed Monday.