Virginia Man Sentenced To 30 Years In Murder of VCU Student

Published: August 11, 2006

MATHEWS COUNTY, Va. – A circuit court judge sentenced 39-year-old Benjamin Fawley to 30 years in prison on Aug 9 in the second-degree murder of Taylor Behl, a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

After she had been missing for a month, Behl’s badly decomposed body was discovered in a shallow grave just off of a country road 75 miles from the Richmond campus. Although Fawley admitted to burying her body, he claims to have accidentally strangled Behl during consensual sex in the woman’s car. Fawley pleaded with the judge avoid a charge of first-degree murder in the case.

Fawley and Behl were involved in a romantic relationship before she enrolled at VCU but according to police officials who investigated the murder, Behl thought Fawley was strange. The two met online early last year but a letter written by Behl, also found in the investigation, mentioned a new boyfriend in Richmond.

Fawley also had 22 unrelated child pornography charges filed against him, which will be dropped in lieu of his sentence. He has been in police custody since September of last year when investigators found the material on his home computer.

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