Jeremy Porter, 23, was convicted in February of second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Irma Flores, whose body was found on a Richmond sidewalk.
In the early hours of March 26, 2010, Porter shot Flores twice in the face after driving her to a secluded spot in Richmond, hours after the two met for the first time at a friend's home, according to prosecutors.
"To look someone in the eyes and shoot someone twice in the face is the height of callousness, in my view," Judge John W. Kennedy said before handing down the sentence.
Kennedy said he also took into account the defendant's extensive criminal history, which included a felony robbery conviction.
Porter was on probation for that crime when he shot Flores, the judge said.
Christopher Weir, Porter's attorney, argued during the trial that the shooting was accidental. Today, Weir also presented a medical evaluation of Porter's various mental health issues and ongoing substance abuse and alcoholism as evidence in a motion for a new trial, which the judge rejected.
In court this morning, the victim's family members recalled the young woman's warmth and friendliness and the positive effect she had on her family, including her two young sons.
"I just want you to know that you took somebody's life that was very meaningful to two little boys," Anna Villallobos, Flores' cousin and a godmother to her older son, told Porter in court today.
Linda Flores, the victim's 19-year-old sister, told the court about how her sister had begun taking courses to one day become a police officer and pledged to move her family out of Richmond once she became successful.