FORT LEWIS, Wash. — A 20-year-old Fort Lewis soldier has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of his 16-year-old girlfriend in his barracks.
A military judge ruled Friday that Pvt. Timothy Bennitt was guilty of “aiding and abetting” Leah King’s wrongful use of the painkiller oxymorphone and anxiety pill Xanax.
Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks delivered the verdict on the fourth day of Bennitt’s court martial.
Earlier this week, Bennitt pleaded guilty to drug charges.
King died Feb. 15. She and a friend overdosed on a combination of drugs but the friend recovered. Bennitt was 19 at the time.
On Tuesday, Bennitt’s lawyers entered a guilty plea on his behalf for distribution of oxymorphone, oxycodone, marijuana and Xanax. He also pleaded guilty to use of oxycodone, oxymorphone, marijuana and cocaine.
Bennitt is originally from Rolling Prairie, Ind.