UVa. Lacrosse Killer George Huguely Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison

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"Beyond the obviously tragic outcome, there are no facts in this case sufficiently aggravating to warrant a sentence above the low end of the guidelines or a sentence inconsistent with those imposed across the Commonwealth for like offenses," the defense wrote.

Court documents filed on Wednesday by Huguely's defense team include numerous personal accounts from family and friends praising Huguely and asking for leniency

"We love Georgie deeply and we will stand by him forever," Huguely's mother Marta Murphy wrote. "Our tight knit family and close group of friends will offer him a strong and supportive network when he is released...Please have mercy and and be lenient and compassionate on my beautiful son."

Murphy also wrote about Love's death.

"I don't have enough words to express my deep sorrow for the loss of Yeardley's life," she said. "We got to know her and love her as any parent gets to know their child's girlfriend. She was a part of our lives."

Huguely's younger sister Teran called her brother a "smart, spiritual, generous and loving older sibling that I am happy to call my brother."

Huguely killed Love, 22, in a drunken rage in May 2010 just weeks before she was to graduate from the University of Virginia. Both Huguely and Love were star lacrosse players on the university's elite teams.

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.

Neither the prosecution nor the defense denied that Huguely was in Love's room the night of her death and was involved in an altercation with her. They differed on the severity of the encounter and whether Huguely was directly and intentionally responsible for Love's death.

Over the course of the trial, prosecutors painted a portrait of Huguely as a violent and enraged man who savagely beat Love in her bedroom and left her there to die. Prosecutors claimed that Love died from blunt force trauma to the head.

The defense depicted Huguely as a troubled young man whose problems with alcohol spiraled out of control. They described Huguely and Love's relationship as mutually tempestuous, with both of them jilting and betraying each other. They maintained that Huguely went to Love's bedroom with the intention to talk to her and that, while things got heated and he pushed her around a bit, he did not do anything severe enough to kill her.

During deliberations, jurors had the option of looking at evidence from the trial again, including Huguely's video-taped statement to the police hours after Love's death. Huguely said he and Love had wrestled on the floor, but that he never struck her.

Before finding out Love was dead, Huguely told police in his video-taped statement that when he went to see his former girlfriend the night of her death he told her to "chill out" and "shook her a little."

"We were just going to talk," Huguely told the officer in the video. "It was not at all a good conversation."

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