Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fawley gets 30 years for murder of VCU student

The news that Benjamin Fawley has plead guilty to killing Taylor Behl, and will not stand trial in tiny Mathews, Virginia comes to me as good news. AP reports, “Man gets 30-year sentence in Va. death.”

“An amateur photographer was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison in the death of a college student whose body was found in a shallow grave with the help of photos on the man's Web site. During the hearing, Benjamin Fawley, 39, cried as he entered an Alford plea, in which he did not admit guilt, but acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him...”

This has been a story too close to home, as SLANT’s semi-sumptuous headquarters is located in the Fan District, just blocks from both Behl’s VCU dorm and what was Fawley’s apartment. And, having the media circus start up again was not something I was looking forward to.

Likewise, I’m glad that Mathews will not have to endure the same. While some down there might have welcomed the attention, I think most people in that area live there because they want to avoid such hurlyburly.

No, I’m not satisfied that Fawley, with his dark and creepy gaze, has told the whole truth yet. I’m not even sure he was acting alone when and where whatever happened to Behl, happened. I do kind of doubt a trial would have gotten us much closer to the truth. But I am sure it’s a sordid tale that would have stayed at the top of the news for the length of the trial.

Plus, at this point I have no doubt that Fawley was involved in the murder of Taylor Behl, who was 17 when she breathed her last breath, wherever that was.

From what I’ve read about this crime, and the evidence gathered, and Fawley’s strange confession, I had been worrying that the Commonwealth might not have had a good case for convicting him of Murder One.

Now there’s no chance Fawley will walk. He got 30 years, we can worry about him later, much later. My heart goes out to the dead girl’s family and friends. I’m just glad it’s over.

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