RICHMOND, Va. — A man who pleaded guilty to slitting the throat of his pregnant girlfriend will spend life in prison.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley B. Cavedo sentenced 24-year-old George Cooke Jr. on Friday, calling the 2017 slaying of 27-year-old Rita Hawthorne “the most brutal killing” he’d seen.

Prosecutors say Hawthorne was six weeks pregnant. They said Cooke had another girlfriend and wanted Hawthorne to have an abortion, searching online for abortion clinics and how to get out of paying child support. They said he got into her house using a key he had found and slashed her throat twice, leaving a 6-inch wound.

Public defender Emilee Hasbrouck asked for a 30-year sentence, as Cooke had no prior record. Cooke apologized to Hawthorne’s family before he was sentenced.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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