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Former Virginia lacrosse player gets 23 years for murder

- Associated Press - Thursday, August 30, 2012

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A former University of Virginia lacrosse player was sentenced Thursday to 23 years in prison for the alcohol-fueled beating death of his ex-girlfriend.

George W. Huguely V was sentenced for the slaying of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old suburban Baltimore woman who was found face down in her blood-soaked pillow on May 3, 2010. Authorities said the 24-year-old defendant left his on-again, off-again girlfriend to die after he kicked a hole in her bedroom door and physically confronted her about their sputtering two-year relationship. Police said he had been drinking heavily that day.

A jury found the Chevy Chase, Md., man guilty in February of second-degree murder and grand larceny. The defense had asked for a 14-year sentence.

Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire reduced the jury's recommended sentence by three years.

"Unlike Miss Love, Mr. Huguely still has the majority of his life ahead of him," Hogshire said.

Before announcing the sentence, Hogshire asked the shackled defendant if he had anything to say to the court.

Huguely rose from the defense table and looked across the courtroom to Love's mother, Sharon Love, and tearfully said, "I'm so sorry for your loss." He also thanked family members for their support.

Huguely and Love, both seniors and varsity lacrosse players at U.Va., had a volatile relationship that spiraled into the deadly confrontation. In a police interrogation video played at his trial, Huguely admitted he and Love had a physical confrontation over their on-again, off-again two-year relationship. But he denied inflicting the fatal injuries Love suffered. He said she had banged her head against her bedroom wall.

A coroner concluded she died of blunt-force trauma.

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