OPELIKA, Ala. -- A former Army soldier who claimed to be mentally disturbed from his tour in Iraq has been convicted of capital murder in the abduction and shooting death of an Auburn University student from Georgia.
The 26-year-old Courtney Lockhart, of rural Smith Station, was convicted Thursday in the killing of 18-year-old freshman Lauren Burk of Marietta, Georgia. He could be sentenced to death or life without parole in the penalty phase, which is to begin shortly.
Attorneys for Lockhart argued that he was mentaly troubled and that he didn't mean for the gun to go off. Burk was shot in the back as she attempted to jump from the car as Lockhart drove on the night of March 4th, 2008.