HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — One of two men charged with killing a UNC professor in 2014 was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.
“We the jury, now find the defendant, Troy Arrington Jr., to be guilty of first-degree murder,” said a clerk in an Orange County courtroom, reading the verdict.
It was a guilty verdict for Troy Arrington for first-degree murder on the basis of malice, premeditation, and deliberation.
Arrington was on trial for robbing UNC professor Feng Liu in July 2014 near campus, then hitting him with a rock.
Liu died the next day at the hospital.
“The court will sentence the defendant to a term of imprisonment of life without the possibility of parole,” said Judge Allen Baddour.
District attorney Jim Woodall read a letter on behalf of Liu’s family.
“This terrible crime has taken a husband away from a wife, a father away from a daughter and a grandfather away from a granddaughter to be,” he read. “None of us will ever be quite the same.”
Friends and family of Liu hugged after the sentencing.
“It is a day that all the communities can feel relieved and can feel safer,” said Hongbin Gu, one of Liu’s former co-workers.
In addition to teaching, Liu was a cancer researcher.
“We want our communities to remember Dr. Liu for all the wonderful works that he had been doing,” said Gu.
Before being sent off to prison, Arrington was given one last chance to speak, but declined.
Derick Davis has also been charged with the same charges in this crime. Prosecutors say he participated in the attack along with Arrington.
He hasn’t had a trial date set yet.