Ex-Military Lawyer Gets 2 Life Terms, 98 Years for Torturing Virginia Couple During Home Invasion

A former military lawyer convicted of torturing a Virginia couple during a home invasion was sentenced Friday to two life terms plus 98 years.

A jury had recommended that sentence in June after Andrew Schmuhl was convicted of breaking into the McLean home of lawyer Leo Fisher and his wife, Sue Duncan, and holding them captive for three hours as he shot, stabbed and tased them. 

Prosecutors argued the attack was an act of revenge against Fisher, who had fired Schmuhl's wife, Alecia, from his law firm weeks earlier.

Prosecutors had asked jurors to recommend five life terms but said in June they were satisfied with the jury's recommendation.

Fisher said in court that the brutal attack left both him and his wife with permanent scars and impairments.

"I've never been a person who hated before, and I hate now," he said. 

Duncan has constant nightmares about someone trying to kill her, her husband said.

"I just don't want this guy and his wife, these two monsters, to ever do this to anyone else again," Fisher told jurors.

Schmuhl's attorney and parents asked jurors for leniency. The lawyer argued Schmuhl was so overly medicated for back problems and other health issues that he did not know what he was doing as he tortured Fisher and Duncan.

Schmuhl's mother apologized, speaking directly to the victims.

"Your tragedy is our tragedy as well. On behalf of our family, my apologies," she said.

Fisher and Duncan got up and left the courtroom.

Alecia Schmuhl will be tried next month for her alleged role in the attack. 

"We await Alecia Schmuhl's trial in September and a similarly just result," Fisher said in his statement in June.

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