A Chapel Hill man was sentenced to life in prison without parole Thursday, March 16, after a jury found him guilty of the first-degree murder of UNC professor Feng Liu.
Liu was found beaten and robbed on West University Drive around noon on July 23, 2014. He died the next day at UNC Hospitals from blunt force head trauma.
Troy Arrington Jr., now 30, was one of the two men charged in the killing. A trial date for the other man, Durham resident Derick Davis II, has not been set.
The trial took place at the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough. The jury began deliberating on March 15 and came to a verdict on the afternoon of March 16.
Arrington was also found guilty of robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Michael Jay, chairperson of the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics, said Liu was a "kind and gentle soul."
"You probably heard that he was going to become a grandfather just two or three months before this happened, and he was so much looking forward to it," Jay said. "He was a man with such a kind spirit. Of all the people in the world for this to happen to, it’s such a shame."
Jay said there was no justification for Liu's death.
"To rob his family and the community of him — I don’t think (Arrington) had any inkling of how this would affect the community."
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.