A soldier was convicted Saturday of murdering and mutilating his teenage wife, a Fort Lewis spokesman said. An Army jury found Spc. Brandon Bare, 20, of Wilkesboro, N.C., guilty of premeditated murder and two counts of indecent acts for chopping his wife to death with a meat cleaver and desecrating her corpse.

After a five-day court martial, the jury deliberated about four hours Friday night before reaching the verdict shortly after midnight, said Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek.

The same jury of five officers and three noncommissioned officers sentenced Bare Saturday evening to life in prison with the possibility of parole, Piek said. His rank was downgraded to private and Bare was dishonorably discharged. He must also forfeit all pay and allowances and be formally reprimanded.

Nabila Bare, 18, had been stabbed at least 71 times when she was found July 12, 2005, in the couple's kitchen.

Prosecutors portrayed Bare as a satanic, would-be serial killer who carefully plotted the time and place to slaughter his wife.

His defense lawyer said he was an emotionally and physically damaged combat veteran, angry over his wife's infidelity and the pending breakup of their marriage, who killed in a moment of rage.

The machine gunner with the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division was wounded in a March 24, 2005, grenade attack in Mosul.