Sylvie Cachay was killed in December 2010. Her former boyfriend, Nicholas Brooks, was convicted of her murder in July. He has now been sentenced to 25 years to life.
Cachay and Brooks dated for around six months. However, friends say the relationship was troubled. During the trial, prosecutors said Cachay attempted to end the relationship.
As reported by CBS News, prosecutors argued the breakup motivated Brooks to strangle and drown Cachay.
Evidence included a letter written by Cachay, demanding that Brooks find a job and quit drinking.
Brooks says he was in love with Cachay, and her death was "the most devastating thing that has ever occurred in [his] life." His attorneys argue that Cachay's drowning was the result of an accidental drug overdose.
Cachay's family and friends paint a different picture. They say Brooks is "a cowardly liar" who was abusive.
Supreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner doubted Brooks' sincerity. She gave him the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Upon hearing the sentence, Brooks simply shrugged.
Sylvie Cachay was a talented clothing designer. In addition to creating her own swimsuit line, she designed clothing for Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, and Victoria's Secret.
Nicholas Brooks is the son of Academy Award winning composer Joseph Brooks. Joseph wrote "You Light Up My Life," which was sung by Debby Boone. He also wrote and directed a movie bearing the same name.
Brooks is described as a "college dropout" with an affinity for prostitutes, alcohol, and drugs. He reportedly lived off a trust fund left by his late father.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Joseph Brooks had legal troubles of his own. The composer was accused of posting phony audition ads to lure women to his home. Thirteen women say they were drugged and sexually assaulted by Joseph in his home.
Joseph committed suicide in the midst of his criminal trial. The 73-year-old left his fortune to his son.
Cachay's friends and family created the Sylvie Cachay Memorial Project to benefit several charities in her name.
[Images via Facebook]