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George Huguely sentenced to 23 years in prison for murder of fellow UVA lacrosse player Yeardley Love

George Huguely and Yeardley Love (UVA Media Relations)
George Huguely and Yeardley Love UVA Media Relations

(CBS/AP) George Huguely was sentenced Thursday to 23 years in prison for the 2010 murder of his ex-girlfriend, fellow University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love.

PICTURES: UVA lacrosse murder

Jurors who convicted the 24-year-old defendant in February recommended 26 years for the second-degree murder of Love and a grand larceny conviction. Huguely's attorneys asked for a 14-year sentence.

According to CBS affiliate WCAV, after closing arguments, Huguely addressed the court saying, "Mrs. Love and Lexie, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope and pray you may find peace." Lexie is Yeardley's sister.

At Thursday's sentencing hearing, the judge heard from several witnesses, including Huguely's parents and a priest.

One witness said that Huguely  beat him after he went home from a party with Yeardley Love, while another said an angry Huguely put his hands around her neck in a bar.

The Rev. Joseph Scordo also testified, saying that he has visited Huguely weekly in jail since the May 2010 slaying of Love. He said the "wild, out-of-control" person that Huguely has been portrayed as is not the man he knows.

Huguely and Love, both seniors and varsity lacrosse players at UVA, had a volatile relationship that spiraled into Huguely's deadly confrontation with Love late on the night of May 2, 2010, after a day of heavy drinking and golfing by Huguely. Love was found the next morning, her battered face in a blood-soaked pillow.

In a police interrogation video played at his trial, Huguely admitted he and Love had had a physical confrontation over their on-again, off-again two-year relationship but 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.

The grand larceny conviction stems from Huguely's theft of Love's computer from her apartment.

Love's mother, Sharon, has filed two lawsuits seeking nearly $60 million. One is aimed at Huguely while the other claims UVA and athletic department officials and coaches ignored Huguely's drinking and violent behavior.

Complete coverage the George Huguely-Yeardley Love case on Crimesider

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