NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The man convicted of murdering his fashion designer girlfriend in the posh SoHo House hotel in 2010 has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Nicholas Brooks, 27, received the maximum sentence Monday, two months after he was found guilty of murder.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Bonnie Wittner said Brooks “richly deserves” 25 years to life.
Brooks gave a brief statement before sentencing saying he loved Cachay very much, but stared straight ahead without emotion as Wittner pronounced his sentence, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
Prosecutors successfully argued that Brooks strangled and drowned Sylvie Cachay, 33, on Dec. 9, 2010. Her body was found partially clothed in an overflowing bathtub at the swanky hotel.
The defense had claimed that Cachay, a successful swimsuit designer, died from a fall fueled by prescription medications and alcohol.
Brooks spoke briefly in court, saying that Cachay’s death “is the most devastating thing” that has ever happened to him.
“I think about her every day, and it breaks my heart,” he said. “I loved her very much, and not a moment goes by where I do not miss her.”
Cachay’s family said it plans to pursue a civil lawsuit against Brooks, CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported.
“We are very, very happy with the sentence,” Cachay’s mother. “He deserved it. Sylvie is wonderful.”
Added Cachay’s brother, Patrick: “Nothing will ever bring back my sister. However, we cannot allow that Mr. Brooks in any way gets to enjoy a single day of the rest of his life.”
Of Brooks’ lack of emotion, Cachay said: “He was a parasite. He just really contributed nothing, so his opinion is irrelevant.”
But Brooks’ attorney said he expects an appeal to result in a new trial.
“It’s a rough sentence,” said Brooks’ attorney, Jeffrey Hoffman. “I don’t think it’s going to ultimately matter because I think there will be a retrial.”
After Brooks’ conviction in July, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance said domestic violence too often results in murder.
“Sylvie Cachay suffered a terrible death at the hands of a man who claimed to love her,” Vance said. “In 2010, nearly 1,100 women were murdered nationwide by a husband or boyfriend – and every death was a complete and utter tragedy, forever felt by the victim’s family, friends, and community.”
Brooks’ father, Joseph, was an Oscar Award-winning songwriter who wrote the hit 1970s song “You Light Up My Life.” Joseph Brooks’ was facing his own legal problems when his son was arrested in 2010, charged with raping or molesting 13 would-be actresses.
Joseph Brooks, 73, killed himself in 2011.
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