The district court in the Siberian city of Tomsk ruled Friday that Alexei Mitayev, 26, was guilty of beating and shooting the 47-year-old reporter, Konstantin Popov.
Popov, a reporter for Tomskaya Nedelya weekly, was taken in police custody last January to sober up. Mitayev shot him in the genitals after beating him up. The reporter died after nearly two weeks in a coma.
Mitayev said he "freaked out" because of his divorce.
Dozens of Russian police officers have been charged with murder, beatings and other crimes following a public outcry over police abuse.
At least 16 journalists have been killed in Russia since 2000. Most of them had written reports critical of authorities.