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Airman sentenced to life in prison for murder

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- An Airman from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., was sentenced to life in a federal prison May 17 for murdering an Airman based here.

Col. Mary Boone, chief circuit trial judge for the central circuit, convicted Staff Sgt. Jason Arindain, a fuels technician, of unpremeditated murder May 15. The sentencing phase began May 16 and ended May 17 with the judge’s decision.

Colonel Boone found Sergeant Arindain not guilty of rape, forcible sodomy and felony murder. The defense argued any sexual relationship the two might have had was consensual, not forced.

The body of Staff Sgt. Shelby Orelup, a fuels instructor at the 366th Training Squadron, was found Feb. 28, 2003, in a drainage ditch near here.

The sergeants began a relationship while they were stationed at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.

According to testimony, Sergeant Arindain remained in contact with Sergeant Orelup after their relationship because the two had a child together.

Sergeant Arindain returned the child to Sergeant Orelup the week of the murder.

Besides his life sentence, Colonel Boone ordered Sergeant Arindain to receive a demotion to airman basic, forfeit all pay and allowances and be dishonorably discharged from the Air Force. (Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)

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