The court martial of Parris Island Staff Sergeant Nadya Lopez is over.
Both sides gave their closing arguments around 5 pm Wednesday afternoon. About an hour and 15 minutes later, the military judge returned with a verdict of not guilty in the drowning death of recruit Jason Tharpe.
Tharpe's mother, Linda, cried as the verdict was read and told the judge, "I hope you see Jason every time you turn around and hear him screaming."
The defense had asked the judge to hand down a ruling of not guilty about an hour before closing arguments. The judge refused, but after listening to those arguments, declared Lopez not guilty.