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Former University of Virginia lacrosse player George W. Huguely V was sentenced to 23 years Thursday for the May 2010 slaying of his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love.
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.
He will serve one year concurrently for grand larceny.
A jury, which found Huguely guilty in February of second-degree murder, recommended 26 years. Huguely's attorneys sought a more lenient sentence of 14 years. Their request for a new trial was denied last week, after a judge said there was overwhelming evidence to support his conviction.
During Huguely's trial, which included testimony from more than 50 witnesses, the defense team suggested that Yeardley Love's death in 2010 was the result of an argument with the defendant that spiraled out of control. The defense maintained that the death was accidental.
Prosecutors convinced the jury that Huguely killed Love during a jealous drunken rage. In a videotaped police interview, Hugeley admitted he shook Love and maybe grabbed her neck, but insisted he didn't kill her. Love was found battered and bruised, and was facedown on her blood-soaked pillow in her bedroom. A coroner concluded she died as a result of blunt force trauma.
Huguely, a Chevy Chase native, addressed the court before being sentenced, telling the Loves he was sorry for their loss, and that he hopes they are able to find peace.
His 23-year prison sentence is three years fewer than that recommended by the jury, but nine years longer than the sentence requested by his attorneys.