SHREVEPORT, La. — A court-martial in Louisiana has sentenced a 22-year-old airman to 35 years in prison for killing his roommate in Guam last year.
The seven-officer panel sentenced Isaiah Edwards on Tuesday in the March 27 stabbing death of 20-year-old Bradley Hale, news agencies reported.
Edwards will be dishonorably discharged from the Air Force.
Both men were airmen and electronic warfare journeymen stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in north Louisiana. They were deployed to Guam last year with the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
Edwards said it was self-defense. He testified the two men got into a fight during which Hale picked up his knife, and, afraid that Hale would stab him, he got the knife back and stabbed Hale in the neck.
Prosecutors said the attack was unprovoked, that Hale was stabbed repeatedly and Edwards tried to wash off Hale's blood before calling for help.
First responders testified they had to break a window to get into the men's room, because the door was locked. Senior Airman Charles Jordan, a suitemate, testified that he woke to screams early March 27, went in through a shared bathroom and saw Edwards on top of Hale on the ground.
The officers convicted Edwards and began sentencing Thursday. After a four-day recess, they resumed Tuesday.
Prosecutors argued for a life sentence.
The family wanted a longer sentence, but at least Edwards got more than the defense request of less than 10 years, Hale's mother, Charla Hale, told The Times. Now that the trial is over, she said, the family can fully grieve.
Hale's father, Rodney Hale, told KTBS-TV he's also dissatisfied with Edwards' sentence.
"I wished it was without parole, but I am not the jury. I don't feel he should have any less time than my son because my son does not get to live to see everything there is in life," he said.