CRIME

Man gets death penalty for 2008 murder, rape

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FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - A Fairfax County judge has imposed the death penalty for a man convicted in the beating death and rape of a woman in the apartment complex where he worked.

The Washington Post reports that Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Thacher imposed the sentence against Mark E. Lawlor on Thursday. A jury recommended the sentence in March.

Lawlor was a leasing agent in the building where 29-year-old Genevieve Orange lived. Prosecutors say he used a key to enter her apartment in September 2008. An autopsy showed he beat her with a hammer nearly 50 times and then sexually assaulted her. DNA evidence at the scene implicated Lawlor.

Lawlor's attorneys never disputed he killed Orange. They argued it wasn't capital murder because Lawlor was drunk and high on crack after a daylong binge.

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