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Huguely: What Happens Next - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Huguely: What Happens Next

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Fran Lawrence Fran Lawrence

George Huguely has been convicted of murder but he will have to wait nearly two months before he finds out how long he will spend in prison.

Wednesday a jury found him guilty of second degree murder, and grand larceny in connection with the death of Yeardley Love in May 2010.

Jury members recommended Huguely spend 25 years in prison for the death of Yeardley Love, and one year for stealing her computer.  Huguely will have a hearing on April 16, 2012 and his sentencing date will be finalized at that time.  Sentencing is likely to happen in summer of 2012.

There is a lot going on behind the scenes right now to get prepared for George Huguely's formal sentencing hearing. A probation officer will prepare a pre-sentence report. Sentencing guidelines are based on information about Huguely's background including employment history, school history, family history and his past criminal record.

NBC29 legal analyst Lloyd Snook said, "It will help the judge understand this sort of broader history of George Huguely, particularly the alcohol and how it's really fueled a lot of the problems he's had."

Snook says the guidelines call for Huguely to serve roughly 19 years. The judge cannot go higher than the jury recommendation of 26 years. The judge and the lawyers will get that report about a week before the sentencing hearing.

An appeal could also be in the works.  That word has been used in this case since the first day of the trial.  While he did not use the word appeal Wednesday night, Huguely's defense attorney Fran Lawrence did bring up the issue.  "We look forward to some corrections in what happened here tonight," he stated.

Once the final order is entered in the case, the clock starts ticking on the appeal process. The earliest that could happen is on the day he is sentenced. Huguely would have 30 days to file a notice of appeal. If the court of appeals grants the appeal, it could take years to retry the case.

Snook said, "There is nothing to lose by appealing.  If you appeal and it's sent back, they can't retry him on first-degree murder again."

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