STUTTGART, Germany — An Army staff sergeant assigned to the U.S. European Command headquarters was found guilty Tuesday during a court-martial of aggravated assault for causing a Navy petty officer to lose an eye during a fight.

An eight-member panel rejected a charge of maiming against Staff Sgt. Kishann Smith and found him guilty of the lesser charge. He also was found not guilty of obstruction of justice and making false statements.

Late Tuesday, the panel was still deciding Smith’s sentence. Army prosecutor Capt. Kenneth Bacso urged the panel to give the staff sergeant the maximum sentence of three years in prison.

Navy Petty Officer Richard Rohr lost his left eye during a fight with Smith in a Stuttgart bar the night of Nov. 15, 2002. Smith hit Rohr in the head with a glass.

Rohr still must undergo additional cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

Smith’s attorneys had argued that the staff sergeant had been defending himself.

David Court, one of Smith’s two lawyers, asked the panel to consider sentencing his client to less than seven months in prison, which could allow him to stay in the Army.

“Find a fair punishment,” he said.

The panel could give Smith anywhere from no punishment to three years in prison.

Rohr testified Tuesday he expects to be medically discharged from the military soon. He has 15 years of service.

He had wanted to stay for 20 years and then get a job as a teacher and a coach. He often helped coach the Patch High School football team.

“I really don’t know what I’ll do,” he said. “Everything in my life has changed.”

Army Maj. Christine Watson, an optometrist who has helped treat Rohr, said a glass eye has caused problems for the petty officer. He has already broken two.

“It takes time to get used to,” she said, explaining how the injury has affected Rohr’s life.

The loss of an eye destroys a person’s depth perception, Watson said, which makes it harder to drive a car and eliminates the possibility for Rohr to go into law enforcement or be a pilot.

He also can no longer be an air traffic controller, the military job he had been trained to do, she said.

Rohr, the father of two, testified he has struggled to get used to impaired vision, and that it has caused his wife to become depressed.

He also said it makes it harder for him to coach young people, since the kids are initially distracted because he has only one eye.

Smith’s attorneys on Tuesday presented witnesses who told jurors Smith was a good soldier who should be allowed to remain in the Army.

Testifying were Smith’s mother, supervisor and several friends.

About 15 of Smith’s friends attended the court-martial to lend support.

Tuesday was the first time Smith said he apologized to Rohr. He said he tried to express his regret after the fight, but the military police in Stuttgart discouraged it.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up