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Former UVA lacrosse player Huguely gets 23 years in death of ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love

Former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely was sentenced for killing his girlfriend, fellow lacrosse player Yeardley Love, in 2010. His lawyers say they plan to appeal. NBC's Pete Williams reports and attorney Lisa Bloom discusses the sentence.

Steve Helber / AP

George Huguely V is led to court for his sentencing in Charlottesville, Va., Thursday.

A judge in Virginia imposed a 23-year prison sentence on George W. Huguely V, a former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted in the alcohol-fueled beating death of ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love in 2010, The Associated Press reported Thursday. 

Love's body was found on May 3, 2010, face down on a bloody pillow in her apartment near the university where she was also a student and lacrosse player, Reuters reported. 

Huguely, a 24-year-old from Chevy Chase, Md., was convicted in February of second-degree murder as well as grand larceny for stealing a computer from Love’s apartment.

University of Virginia via AP

Yeardley Love, who died in May 2010 at the hands of her sometimes boyfriend, George Huguely V. Huguely was convicted of manslaughter in February and sentenced to 23 years in prison on Thursday.

Prosecutors said Huguely entered the apartment while Love was sleeping, kicked in her bedroom door and then slammed her head against the wall. She was 22 and about to graduate.

Huguely's defense team said there was no evidence that he intended to kill Love, of Cockeysville, Md., and suggested instead that she had suffocated on the bloody pillow.

The jury recommended a 25-year sentence for the murder and an additional one year for the theft. The defense sought a 14-year sentence, the AP reported. 

Love’s family is seeking more than $29 million in damages from the state and university officials, alleging they did not properly handle a separate incident in 2009 when Huguely attacked a lacrosse teammate while drunk, Businessweek reported.  The family has also filed a lawsuit against Huguely, the report said.

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