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Men Who Brutally Murdered U.K. Soldier Are Sentenced To Prison

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale hit Lee Rigby with a car and then hacked him with a meat cleaver and knives in May 2013. Adebolajo was sentenced to life in prison, and Adebowale to a minimum of 45 years.

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Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were sentenced today for the murder of Lee Rigby, a fusilier in the British Army, the BBC reports. The two hit Rigby with a car and then hacked him to death in broad daylight in May 2013.

Adebolajo (left) received a life term in prison, and Adebowale received a minimum of 45 years in prison. Both were absent during sentencing; the men started a fight with security guards and had to be escorted out of the room. Minutes before the judge announced the sentencing, Adebolajo apparently shouted, "Allahu akbar."

The judge said during the sentencing that the evidence was “overwhelming,” the murder was “barbaric,” and that the two had purposefully committed the murder “in a way that would generate the maximum amount of media coverage.”

Toby Melville / Reuters

David Gottlieb, counsel for Adebolajo, claimed that he is "not so depraved or wicked that he is incapable of redemption" and that the murder "shares the characteristics of a religiously aggravated crime."

Adebelajo intended to die and wanted to be put to death, claiming he was a “soldier of Allah,” the killing being an act of war.

Neil Hall / Reuters

Abbas Lakha, counsel for Adebowale, said the case was “was horrific,” but a “proper sentence is one which does leave open the possibility of release in the future.”

Rigby’s wife Rebecca said that their child would have to see images “no son should have to endure.”

Toby Melville / Reuters

"After all he'd been through in Afghanistan, all Lee was doing was walking through London," Rigby's stepfather said. "After seeing the television, you just can't comprehend it."

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