Jury recommends 26 years in prison for ex-lacrosse player
George Huguely was accused of beating to death his former girifriend Yeardley Love in her apartment.
February 22nd, 2012
07:20 PM ET

Jury recommends 26 years in prison for ex-lacrosse player

[Updated at 11:18 p.m. ET] A jury late Wednesday recommended a prison sentence of 26 years for former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely, convicted of second-degree murder and grand larceny in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, who also played lacrosse at Virginia.

The judge has the option of accepting that sentence or imposing a lesser one. The recommendation is 25 years on the murder count and one year for grand larceny.

The jury's verdicts were read earlier Wednesday. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 16.

Huguely, 24, was found not guilty on the most serious charge first-degree murder in the May 2010 death of Love, 22. He was acquitted on several other charges, including robbery and breaking and entering to commit larceny.

The sentencing range for a second-degree murder conviction is between five and 40 years.

A medical examiner ruled that blunt force trauma killed Love, and authorities alleged Huguely caused it during an altercation at Love's off-campus apartment, where a roommate found her dead days before graduation.

A defense attorney told jurors during closing arguments in Charlottesville, Virginia, that Huguely contributed to Love's death, but did not kill her and had no intent to do so.

[Initial post, 6:07 a.m.] Jury deliberations are expected to begin Wednesday in the trial of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player accused of fatally beating his ex-girlfriend.

George Huguely contributed to his ex-girlfriend's death, but did not kill her and had no intent to do so, his attorney said during closing arguments Saturday.

"Yes, George contributed to her death. But no, he didn't kill her ... he left there with her alive, and that is not in dispute. There was no intentional killing, because she wasn't dead when he left," defense attorney Francis Lawrence said.

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Man sentenced to death for Petit home invasion murders
December 2nd, 2010
11:34 AM ET

Man sentenced to death for Petit home invasion murders

Steven Hayes, convicted of a brutal 2007 home invasion in which a Connecticut mother and her two daughters were killed, was sentenced Thursday to die for the crime.

In a strong and clear voice, the judge sentences Hayes to death on each of the six capital felonies.

"This is a terrible sentence. But in truth it is a sentence you wrote for yourself in flames on July 23, 2007 . . . your fate is now in the hands of others. May God have mercy on your soul."

A jury found Hayes guilty of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters - 7-year-old Hayley Petit and 11-year-old Michaela Petit - in their Cheshire, Connecticut, home in 2007.

It recommended that Hayes, 47, should die for his role in the deaths.

"The impact of these crimes against our family is like the impact of a bomb going off in your house . . ." William Petit, who survived the crime said. "I awoke to a confused terror . . . I'll always remember my father's face when I asked about the girls, and he just shook his head fro side to side and sobbed . . . Our home was no more . . ."

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October 25th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Prison record of convicted killer reviewed in penalty phase of trial

Stephen Hayes, convicted of killing three members of a Connecticut family, was written up in 24 disciplinary reports during a stretch in state prison, the jury was told as the penalty phase of Hayes' trial resumed Monday morning.

Fred Levesque, former director of offender classification and population management for the state Department of Correction, said the 24 disciplinary reports included one for hoarding medication, a charge to which Hayes voluntarily pleaded guilty.

But when the defense asked Levesque if he had any knowledge of whether Hayes was a threat to the general population, he answered "no."

Hayes, 47, was convicted this month of 16 of the 17 charges against him - including nine counts of murder and capital murder and four counts of kidnapping - in the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley Petit and 11-year-old Michaela Petit.

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Filed under: Connecticut • Courts • Crime • Death Penalty • Home invasion • Justice