SANTA ANA ( — A sentence was handed down Friday for a former UCI graduate student who was convicted in August of the 2009 murder of his his ex-wife.

Brian Hughes Benedict received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 25 years to life in prison for shooting his wife during a dispute over child-support payments.

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The shooting happened outside of his campus apartment after he had attacked Rebecca Benedict with a hammer, authorities said.

The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to Rebecca’s family in the amount of $191,000.

On Aug. 7, jurors found Benedict guilty of a felony count of a special circumstances murder for financial gain and lying in wait with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.

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Rebecca, then-30, went to pick up the couple’s 4-year-old son from Benedict’s campus apartment on Verano Place. Authorities said that the defendant had been ordered to pay child-support.

At the sentencing hearing, the Orange County District Attorney’s office said in a written statement that Rebecca’s mother and brother shared an impact statements. Her mother said she would honor her daughter’s memory by raising her grandson.


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