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      Army veteran convicted of killing his girlfriend

      Investigators were looking for Almanita Smith when her body appeared on the front lawn of her home seven days later.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- An Iraq war veteran is sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing his girlfriend last year and placing her decomposed body in the front yard of her Columbia home.

      A jury convicted Marcus Bailey of murder Wednesday in the death of 26-year-old Almanita Smith, who was last seen Aug. 16, 2012.

      Investigators were looking for Smith when her body appeared on the lawn seven days later.

      Authorities believe Smith was strangled. Prosecutors say Bailey used her credit cards after she died and saturated the house with air fresheners to cover up the odor.

      The defense put up no witnesses.

      Bailey was in Iraq for two tours. Prosecutors say he was living with Smith after being demoted in rank and forced out of the Army for erratic behavior.