MATHEWS, Va. – A judge has convicted an amateur photographer of second-degree murder in the death of a 17-year-old Virginia Commonwealth University student.
The judge in Mathews County Circuit Court ordered him to serve 30 years. The judge also agreed to drop unrelated child pornography charges.
Benjamin Fawley, 39, entered an Alford plea. That means he's not admitting guilt but acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him in the slaying of Taylor Behl in September 2005.
Fawley was scheduled to go on trial August 17th.
During the hearing today, Fawley hesitated and then cried as he acknowledged entering the plea after conferring with his defense attorneys.
Fawley stared at his hands as Mathews County Commonwealth's Attorney Jack Gill gave a detailed timeline of the events leading up to Behl's disappearance until her body was found in a shallow ravine in Mathews County — about 70 miles east of Richmond — a month later.