A man was convicted Thursday ofÂ killing Erin Corwin, 19, a former Oak Ridger, andÂ dumping her body down a 140-foot mine shaft, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The conviction came just days after Christopher Brandon Lee, 27, confessedÂ to the slaying on the witness stand, the newspaper said.
A San Bernardino County jury in California found Lee guilty ofÂ murder. Jurors also found true a special sentencing enhancement that Lee wasÂ lying in wait for Corwin, his married lover, in June 2014, the Los Angeles Times said, citing the San Bernardino County district attorneyâ€™s office.
Leeâ€™s sentencing was set for November 29. He faces life without the possibility of parole.
See the LA Times story here.
Corwin was reported to be pregnant and she was reported missing in southern California in late June 2014. Her body wasÂ found with the help of video equipment that August. Lee was arrested in in Anchorage, Alaska, a half-hour after her body was identified using dental records.
An autopsy determined the death was a homicide.
The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California, reported in 2014 that Lee is a 24-year-old ex-Marine who had lived next to Corwin and her husband, Marine Corporal Jonathan Corwin, who is also from Oak Ridge, at a desert base in Twentynine Palms, California. Detectives believed that Lee and Erin Corwin were having an affair, and that Lee may have been afraid that his wife Nichole would discover his infidelity, the newspaper said at the time.
Corwin vanished June 28, 2014, after telling her husband that she was going to Joshua Tree National Park south of Twentynine Palms.
Authorities and volunteers searched more than 300 square miles of desert and several bodies of water in the nearly eight weeks after thatâ€”including Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base, and areas covered by the Bureau of Land Management. Nearly 5,000 volunteer hours were dedicated to the search, and aerial searches identified more than 100 mine shafts and numerous bodies of water that were searched by the Technical Cave and Mind Teams and Specialized Dive Teams, the Sheriffâ€™s Department said.
The Thursday conviction came after LeeÂ admitted to the killingÂ on October 27Â during questioning by his attorney, David Kaloyanides, the Los Angeles Times said.
Corwin’s parents areÂ William and Lore Heavilin of Oak Ridge.
More information will be added as itÂ becomes available.
See previous Oak Ridge Today story here.
See The Desert Sun story on Lee’s conviction here.
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