July 2 (UPI) -- A Marine Corps sergeant was convicted of manslaughter in the death of an Army Green Beret after a three-week trial at Norfolk Naval Station, Va.
On Thursday, an eight-member military panel found Marine Raider Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez guilty of hazing, false official statements, "housebreaking," conspiracy charges and involuntary manslaughter.
Madera-Rodriguez was not, however, convicted of felony murder, the most serious charge.
Madera-Rodriguez was the last of four co-defendants charged in the June 4, 2017, strangulation death of Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar in Bamako, Mali.
The defense argued that Melgar's death, at off-site housing he shared with other military personnel, was unintentional and an element in a hazing incident which went out of control.
Medera-Rodriguez was the only defendant to plead not guilty, and in the trial, his attorney said that he played a minor role in the incident and only touched Melgar in an attempt to revive him.
Testimony indicated that the incident involved a "hazing party" aimed at Melgar, after personality conflicts between Melgar and the defendants.
After a night of drinking, the defendants broke open Melgar's bedroom door with a sledgehammer, and plans to tie him up and take sexually compromising photos of him.
Melgar fought back, leading to chokeholds that caused his strangulation death. The defendants later developed cover-up stories, resulting in false statements to authorities.
The co-defendants included another Marine and two Navy SEALs, all of whom pleaded guilty in separate trials and arranged plea deals.
The sentencing of Madera-Rodriguez is scheduled to be determined within one week. He could serve a 10-year prison term.
Rear Adm. Charles Rock, Commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, was the presiding Consolidated Disposition Authority at the trial.