OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — An airman from Valdosta was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole Wednesday for slaying a woman on an Air Force base in Nebraska.
Airman 1st Class Timothy M. Wilsey was also given a dishonorable discharge, reduced in rank to airman E-1 — the Air Force's lowest possible rank — forfeited all pay and allowances and was given an official reprimand, according to a statement from Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., where the crime took place.
Wilsey pleaded guilty April 5 to premeditated murder and desertion, according to the Air Force. He admitted killing Airman 1st Class Rhianda N. Dillard.
Dillard, 20, was found dead in her dormitory room at Offutt, Aug. 1, 2016, said Drew Nystrom with Offutt’s public affairs office. She was a cyber systems operation specialist assigned to the 55th Strategic Communications Squadron at Offutt who arrived at the base March 14, he said. Wilsey was a member of the 55th Intelligence Support Squadron at Offutt, Nystrom said.
Wilsey was not assigned to Moody Air Force Base.
Wilsey was apprehended Aug. 11 in a hotel in Emporia, Va., by agents of the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, assisted by the Greensville, Va., County Sheriff’s Office, according to a press release from the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations. Air Force operatives had been sent to Valdosta searching for him.
At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors said they had a handwritten journal describing Dillard’s death and the handwriting matched Wilsey’s. An OSI agent testified the journal was found among Wilsey’s possessions when he was picked up in Virginia.
Journal entries reportedly described the incident in detail, suggesting the pair were sitting on her dorm room bed watching television on a laptop when he counted down three times, then placed Dillard in a headlock, sat on her and choked her to death before leaving with some Oreos, an observer at the hearing said.
Entries from the journal were also used during Wilsey's sentencing hearing, including an entry stating, “I just enjoy killing. Simple as that.”
For their encounter, Wilsey chose to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of the Joker, the arch-enemy of Batman.
“I thought it would be funny to wear a shirt of a sociopathic serial killer while committing a murder,” he wrote in the journal.
If Wilsey ever comes up for parole, Dillard's mother, Elizabeth, said she would work to ensure he wasn't released.
"As long as I'm alive, he won't be getting out. I'm going to testify every time," she said.
Steve Liewer of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald contributed to this report. See Liewer's report on their website.
Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.