Timothy M. Wilsey pleaded guilty last week to the premeditated murder of 20-year-old Airman 1st Class Rhianda Dillard

By Christine Pelisek
April 13, 2018 11:14 AM
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A former airman who wrote in his journals about his “hunger” to kill was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the strangling death of a fellow U.S. Air Force member, PEOPLE confirms.

Airman 1st Class Timothy M. Wilsey’s sentence also carried a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction in rank and a reprimand, Drew Nystrom, an Air Force spokesman, tells PEOPLE.

Nystrom says Wilsey, 21, will serve his sentence in a federal prison. His attorney could not be reached for comment by PEOPLE.

Wilsey pleaded guilty last week to the premeditated murder of 20-year-old Airman 1st Class Rhianda Dillard, a Mississippi native who was found strangled in her dorm room on Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base on July 29, 2016.

At the time, Dillard was a member of the 55th Strategic Communications Squadron and Wilsey was in the 55th Intelligence Support Squadron, according to media reports. She worked as a cyber systems operation specialist and had not been living in Nebraska long.

Wilsey apologized for the slaying during his plea. However, in the days before he was caught, he confessed in his journal about how he had “a hunger, a thirst, a craving” to murder people.

“I just enjoy killing,” he wrote, according to the Omaha World-Herald and the Valdosta Daily Times. “Simple as that.”

Portions of Wilsey’s writings were displayed as part of testimony from both the prosecution and defense before the judge decided on a sentence.

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Wilsey first met Dillard at a basketball game while both were stationed at the Offutt Air Force Base and they exchanged phone numbers under the pretense that he was romantically interested in her, the World-Herald reports.

According to his writings and prosecutors, Wilsey appeared to target Dillard because he thought she didn’t know many people in the area.

“He chose her because he thought no one would care about her,” prosecutor Maj. Ryan Reed said, according to the Omaha paper. “He used his charm, he used his charisma, to gain her trust.”

On the night Dillard was killed while the two watched TV in her room, Wilsey reportedly donned a T-shirt with the Joker on it.

“I thought it would be funny to wear a shirt of a sociopathic serial killer while committing a murder,” he wrote.

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In court, prosecutors showed surveillance video of Wilsey departing Dillard’s dorm after the slaying while carrying a bag of Oreos that he stole from her room, the World-Herald reports. He was captured 13 days later in Virginia.

During his time on the lam, Wilsey wrote that he “harbored no ill will towards her at all. The only thing she ever did was try to be my friend.”

Even stranger, Wilsey wrote how he planned to go to New York and meet up with a drug gang and find work as a professional hit man: “Nobody ever got famous for killing just one person.”

Dillard’s family was in court during Wilsey’s court martial, the World-Herald reports, and her mom, Elizabeth, described her as an excellent student who sought out the Air Force for the support it would help give her family.

“I don’t have the closure, but I have justice,” Elizabeth said after last week’s guilty plea, according to the paper.

“As long as I’m alive, he won’t be getting out,” she said of her daughter’s killer. “I’m going to testify every time.”