Jury: UVa Killer George Huguely Should Get 26 Years in Jail


Earlier Wednesday, as the verdict was announced, Huguely barely reacted, putting his hands to his face a few times near his chin. He looked over briefly at his family and friends in the front three rows of the courtroom.

The jurors immediately heard pre-sentencing testimony from Love's mother and sister and returned to the jury room to decide on a sentence for Huguely.

Sharon and Lexie Love gave emotional and tearful pleas for the jury to punish Huguely.

Sharon Love sobbed as she described life without her daughter.

"It's still with me every day from sunup to sundown," Love said through tears. "Every single day is different. Some days it's just unbearable."

"Every year goes by, I like to wonder what she would be doing now," Love's mother said.

Lexie Love was also tearful as she told the jury, "We shared a bathroom. ... All her stuff is still there. ... I don't want to touch or change a thing."

In telling how much she missed her sister, Lexie Love said, "I've never wanted something so bad in my life as it is to see her face again. ... It physically hurts."

Huguely hung his head as the women spoke.

The defense chose to not offer any witnesses in the sentencing phase. It was expected that Huguely's parents would testify during the sentencing because they stayed out of court during the trial, but they did not speak.

The jury buzzed twice with questions during the day.

About an hour into their deliberations this morning, they asked the judge to clarify the meaning of the word "reason" in a legal sense, but the judge told them it had the same meaning as in their everyday lives.

They later buzzed to ask for clarification on some of their jury instructions.

Evidence, including Love's bedroom door with a hole in it, were moved into the jury room earlier as well as a TV monitor, presumably for them to watch Huguely's video-taped statement to police.

The jurors also requested to see the apology letter that Huguely sent to Love in February 2010 following an incident in which he had been caught holding a terrified Love in a choke hold. The letter was found in Love's desk drawer after her death.

Jurors were shown the letter earlier in the trial, but its content was not been available to the public or media until prosecutor Warner Chapman read from the letter in his closing arguments.

"Alcohol is ruining my life," Chapman read. "I'm scared to know that I can get that drunk to the point where I cannot control how I act."

The jurors elected to work through lunch instead of taking a break. Lunches were delivered to the jury room.

In addition to the five women and seven men on the jury, two female alternate jurors were dismissed this morning after being chosen at random. The alternates were permitted to leave, but remained under oath until the conclusion of the case.

Huguely faced six charges, including first-degree murder, in Love's death.

Over 10 days in court, jurors listened to testimony from nearly 60 witnesses and saw a video of Huguely's police statement, graphic photos of Love's battered body, and read text and email correspondence between the two.

Though charged with first-degree murder, the judge gave jurors a menu of lesser charges they could from: second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

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