Robert Walters, Iraq War Veteran, Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder

09/19/2011 12:40 pm ET | Updated Nov 19, 2011

An Iraq War veteran was found guilty on Friday of murder in the first degree of his girlfriend Brittney Brashers, 22, but not guilty of soliciting the murder of his wife at the time, Elena Walters.

Robert "Robbie" Walters, 25, was found guilty of beating Brashers to death after she didn't apologize for taking her top off in a Denver strip club and then staging a car crash on Yuma Street to cover up the incident. Walters even confessed the murder to his wife Elena, but was unaware she had recorded the conversation.

Walters had been cheating on wife Elena with Brashers whom he'd met while serving in Iraq. Brashers was a U.S. Air Force Airman who was assigned to the same security base as Walters in 2009. Walters had just married Elena days before his deployment, according to Westword. The two began a relationship even though a couple no-contact orders were issued by the military, at least once because of the presence of domestic violence in their relationship.

From Walter's recorded conversation, first published in Westword:

I never thought about killing her in detail until she took her top off... I was like, 'I'm killing her tonight'... and I went and killed her...
I kill a girl by hitting her, and I can't fix it. There's no way to fix it. Just die — that's the only honorable thing to do.

The trial lasted three weeks, during which time public defender Fernando Fyre tried to convince the jury that Walters was more of a "talker" than a "doer" and that Brashers died in a car accident. Adding some credence to this argument was the fact that the coroner could not definitely prove Brashers's cause of death, according to 9News.

“Continued investigation by the Denver Police Department revealed that Walters had murdered Brashers, and drove the vehicle into parked cars to make it appear as if her death was a result of the accident,” Denver District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough told KWGN.

However Walters was not found guilty of soliciting the murder of his former wife Elena though she had testified that Walters had once taken her to an empty field and told her that he would bury her there. Testimony from jailhouse informants of Walters were not able to yield trustworthy accounts proving Walters soliciting Elena's murder partly because the alleged hitman, cellmate Rodrick Williams has been diagnosed as bipolar, manic depressive, and had made a plea agreement in order to testify against Walters.

Nearly 10 deputies stayed in the courtroom on the day jurors delivered their verdict to prevent any confrontation between Walters's and Brashers's families, but there was no disruption.

Walters now faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 24