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Court: Sailor Murdered Model

A Greek sailor was found guilty Monday of strangling and butchering his American girlfriend.

George Skiadopoulos was convicted of one count of premeditated murder in the killing of 31-year-old former model Julie Scully, of Mansfield, N.J., on Jan. 8 and then burning and beheading the body.

A panel of three judges and four jurors also found him guilty on a number of misdemeanor counts, including desecrating the dead, perjury and false testimony. It did not take into account defense appeals for leniency, saying Skiadopoulos, 25, was in a "calm and collected state" when he carried out the murder.

In closing arguments, defense lawyer Sakis Kehagioglou said Skiadopoulos was a man who acted out of "jealous rage" and had not planned the killing near the northern Greek city of Kavala. The court also rejected arguments that Skiadopoulos could be mentally unstable.

The court was expected to pass sentence later Monday, the last day of a trial that began nine days ago in this town about 90 miles northeast of the port of Thessaloniki. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment without parole.

A cruise ship petty officer, Skiadopoulos met Ms. Scully on a Caribbean voyage in 1997. She moved to Greece in December 1998 and left her then 3-year-old daughter with her former husband, Timothy Nist.

Skiadopoulos confessed to the murder and told the court he killed Scully after she told him she wanted to leave him because of her inability to adjust to life in Greece.

Scully, a former legal secretary, was known in the Trenton area as a pinup model for The Trentonian newspaper. Her photo appeared on billboards promoting the newspaper, and she also did promotional work for beer companies.