Murder of Yeardley Love
The murder of Yeardley Love occurred in May 2010 in
Charlottesville, Virginia. Love, a University of Virginia (UVA)
women's lacrosse student-athlete, was found unresponsive in her
Charlottesville apartment on May 3, 2010.
Later that day, UVA men's lacrosse player George
Wesley Huguely V, originally of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was arrested by
Charlottesville Police. Huguely was subsequently found guilty of
Yeardley Reynolds Love was born on July 17, 1987,
in Baltimore, Maryland, to John and Sharon Love. She resided in
Cockeysville, Maryland. At Notre Dame Preparatory School, Love was a
member of the varsity lacrosse and field hockey teams all four years
and was an All-County lacrosse player in 2006. Love was admitted to
the University of Virginia, where she majored in government and
minored in Spanish.
As a member of the UVA women's lacrosse team, the
Cavaliers, Love scored her first goal in her first game, playing
against Virginia Tech. Love started in 9 of her 16 games in 2009 and
in 3 of her 15 games in 2010.
George Wesley Huguely V was born on September 17,
1987, in Washington, D.C., to George Huguely IV and Marta Murphy, who
subsequently divorced. Huguely attended the all-boys Landon School in
Bethesda, Maryland, and resided in Chevy Chase, Maryland. At Landon,
Huguely was an All-American lacrosse player and played football as
well. During his senior year at Landon, Huguely was the quarterback of
the football team.
In 2007, Huguely was charged with underage
possession of alcohol in Florida, where his family owns a vacation
home. In 2008, Huguely was arrested for public drunkenness and
resisting arrest outside the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity house at
Washington and Lee University; police tased Huguely to subdue him. In
that incident, Huguely received a suspended sentence of 60 days and 6
months of probation, was fined, and was ordered to perform community
service and take a drug treatment program. He did not disclose this
arrest to the University of Virginia, despite a requirement to do so.
During the 2010 season, Huguely was a midfielder for the Virginia
Cavaliers men's lacrosse team. He majored in anthropology at Virginia.
Death and arrest of a suspect
Around 2:15 a.m. (EDT) on May 3, police were called
to Love's apartment on 14th Street in the University Corner district
in Charlottesville. At the scene, Love was found unresponsive and was
pronounced dead. The 911 call from Love's roommate reported that Love
suffered an alcohol overdose, but detectives noticed "obvious physical
injuries to her body" upon arrival. The suspect, George Huguely, was
living next door.
On May 4, Huguely was charged with murdering Love
and was held in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. At a May
6 court appearance, Huguely's attorney, Fran Lawrence, stated: "Ms.
Love's death was not intended but an accident with a tragic outcome."
Huguely appeared at the hearing via video.
Huguely and Love dated briefly, but had broken up.
At the Charlottesville police station, Huguely waived his Miranda
rights and narrated graphic details of his assaulting Love, stating
that he kicked open Love's locked bedroom door and "shook Love, and
her head repeatedly hit the wall". Evidence that police seized from
Huguely's apartment included two Apple laptop computers, a spiral
notebook, two white socks, bathroom and entryway rugs, and a Virginia
lacrosse shirt with a red stain.
Investigators also followed leads of domestic
violence between Huguely and Love, including threatening e-mail and
text messages that Huguely sent to Love post-breakup; a violent
encounter between the couple that was broken up by several visiting
lacrosse players from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;
and an incident in which Huguely attacked Love while drunk but did not
recall having hit her. An unnamed student told the New York Daily News
that Huguely and Love broke up after the drunken Huguely assaulted
"My hope for Yeardley, and for you," said
University president John Casteen at a May 6 candlelight vigil, "is
that her dying inspires an anger, a sense of outrage that engenders
determination here and wherever Yeardley's name is recognized that no
woman, no person in this place, this community, this state, our nation
need either fear for her safety or experience violence for any
reason." A funeral Mass for Love was held at the Cathedral of Mary Our
Queen on May 8 with an attendance of around 2,000.
On May 10, UVA women's lacrosse coach Julie Myers
explained why the team planned to go forward with its role in the NCAA
tournament, "Let’s do it the way that Yards would want us to do it."
In their respective tournaments, the men's team
advanced to the semifinal where they lost to Duke, who would go on to
win the championship, and the women's team advanced to the
On September 29, 2010, the family of Yeardley Love
announced the creation of the Yeardley Reynolds Love Foundation, Inc.,
also known as the One Love Foundation, to honor her memory. "The
mission of the foundation is to encourage and develop in children and
young adults four qualities of character that Yeardley exemplified …
service, kindness, humility and sportsmanship … that together add up
to One Love," explained Sharon Love, Yeardley’s mother. "The
foundation would like to 'bring out the Yeardley' in everyone by
igniting the spirit of One Love in children and young adults,
encouraging them to choose a path of goodness."
A preliminary hearing for Huguely on a first degree
murder charge was held April 11, 2011, in Charlottesville District
Court. Huguely continued to be held without bond at the
Charlottesville regional jail. On January 7, 2011, prosecutors added
five additional charges: felony murder, robbery of a residence,
burglary, entering a house with an intent to commit a felony, and
A grand jury indicted him on April 18, 2011, on
first degree and felony murder charges, and a trial date of February
6, 2012, was set. On February 22, 2012, Huguely was found guilty of
second degree murder and grand larceny and the jury recommended a 26
year sentence: 25 years for second degree murder and 1 year for grand
On April 26, 2012, Sharon Love filed a wrongful
death lawsuit against George Huguely V, asking for $29.45 million in
compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.
On May 1, 2012, she filed a $29.45 million wrongful
death lawsuit against UVA, men's lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia,
associate head coach Marc Van Arsdale, and UVA director of athletics
Craig Littlepage, alleging gross negligence on the part of the
The suit alleged that "It was well known to the
players and coaches on the UVA men's and women's lacrosse teams that
Huguely's alcohol abuse and erratic, aggressive behavior was
increasingly getting out of control, especially his obsession with
Love and his aggressiveness and threats to Love" and that in spite of
this, no action was taken "to discipline Huguely, to suspend or remove
Huguely from the lacrosse team, to refer Huguely for treatment or
counseling for alcohol/substance abuse or anger/aggressive behavior
management, or to subsequently report Huguely's potential risk of
violence pursuant to the UVA Policy on Preventing and Addressing
Threats or Acts of Violence."
On August 30, 2012, Huguely was formally sentenced
to 23 years in prison by Judge Edward Hogshire; sentences of 23 years
for the 2nd degree murder conviction and one year for the grand
larceny conviction are to run concurrently. With credit for time
served and potential time off for good behavior at the time of
sentencing, Huguely would be released in late 2029. As of June 2013
Huguely's attorneys continue to appeal his convictions.
George Huguely Faces Sentencing For Yeardley
By Steve Szkotak - HuffingtonPost.com
August 30, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A former University of
Virginia lacrosse player who killed his ex-girlfriend in a drunken
rage received a 23-year prison sentence Thursday in a case that
forever changed the school's attitudes toward relationship violence
and made it easier for abuse victims in the state to obtain
George W. Huguely V had three years trimmed from a
jury's recommended sentence of 26 years for the May 2010 slaying of
Yeardley Love. Huguely, 24, could be released in less than 20 years.
"Unlike Ms. Love, Mr. Huguely still has the
majority of his life ahead of him," Charlottesville Circuit Judge
Edward Hogshire told the court.
Asked by the judge if he wanted to address the
court before sentencing, a shackled and tearful Huguely turned to
Love's mother, Sharon Love, and sister Lexie and said, "I'm so sorry
for your loss and I hope you find peace."
Huguely, of Chevy Chase, Md., was convicted in
February of the second-degree murder of Love, 22, of Cockeysville,
Md., a Baltimore suburb. Jurors also found Huguely guilty of grand
larceny for stealing Love's computer from her apartment.
Huguely and Love, both seniors and varsity lacrosse
players at U.Va., had a volatile relationship that spiraled into
Huguely's deadly confrontation with Love late on the night of May 2,
2010, after a day of heavy drinking and golfing by Huguely. Love was
found the next morning, her battered face in a blood-soaked pillow.
During a 3 1/2-hour sentencing hearing, prosecutor
David Chapman presented witnesses who described violent incidents
involving Huguely before he killed Love. They included the beating of
a friend who went home with Love after a party and the unprovoked
punching of another person after a night of drinking. He also angrily
wrapped his hands around a young woman in a bar after she told her
father, his former high school lacrosse coach, to talk to Huguely
about his heavy drinking.
"Sooner or later he was going to seriously injure
or kill someone," Chapman said.
Huguely's attorneys acknowledged he drank too much,
but Chapman disagreed that was the problem.
"The issue, your honor, is not too much alcohol,"
he told Hogshire. "The issue here is too much violence."
In a police interrogation video played at his
trial, Huguely admitted he and Love had a physical confrontation over
their on-again, off-again two-year relationship but he denied
inflicting the fatal injuries Love suffered. He said she had banged
her head against her bedroom wall.
A coroner concluded she died of blunt force trauma.
Love's death followed several months of tension
between the two young athletes. Former teammates and friends testified
that each accused the other of infidelity and they described incidents
of Huguely's escalating drinking.
The Huguely family, many of whom attended the
sentencing hearing but did not testify, issued a statement after the
sentencing, calling it "a sad day for our family." They also echoed
one of Huguely's attorneys, Francis McQ. Lawrence, in his defense of
"We continue to believe what Mr. Lawrence said
within hours of meeting George, on May 3, 2010: `Yeardley's death was
not intended but an accident with a tragic outcome.' "
Love's family did not address the sentencing
hearing but issued a statement that read in part: "We find no joy in
Lawrence attempted to counter Chapman's depiction
of Huguely as a brutish, drunken jock by presenting family members who
described him as thoughtful, caring and attentive to the needs of
A white-cassocked Roman Catholic priest who had
visited Huguely in jail weekly since his arrest more than two years
ago described Huguely as spiritual and never saw flashes of anger.
"It's not the same person, the person that the
media portrays as the wild, out-of-control person," the Rev. Joseph
Scordo said. He described Huguely as his "spiritual grandson."
Chapman argued for the full 26-year sentence
recommended by jurors, arguing that Huguely would still be a
relatively young man after serving his time. For the Loves, however,
"There's nothing left but loss and sorrow, in many ways."
Yeardley Love was to be her sister Lexie's
maid-of-honor at her upcoming wedding. "The maid of honor will be
missing," Chapman said as Lexie dabbed tears from her face. "He took
from them their future as a family."
In reducing Huguely's sentencing, Hogshire strayed
from tradition. Virginia judges typically heed a jury's sentence
Huguely's attorneys sought a sentence reduction to
Virginia has no parole but Huguely could reduce his
sentence by 15 percent if he earns credits by participating in prison
programs and stays out of trouble. He also would be credited with time
served, leaving him with 18 years in prison.
Love's mother, Sharon Love, has filed two lawsuits
seeking nearly $60 million. One is aimed at Huguely while the other
claims U.Va. and athletic department officials and coaches ignored
Huguely's drinking and violent behavior.
Huguely was arrested in Lexington in 2008 after a
drunken confrontation with a police officer.
Love's death has had a lasting impact in Virginia
and at the university. It's easier now for abuse victims in Virginia
to get a restraining order and students must tell the university if
they have ever been arrested.
School officials and students also have tried to
make the culture on campus one in which people look out for each other
and aren't afraid to report relationship violence.
George Huguely Case: Evidence Shown, Including
Video Of Police Interrogation About Yeardley Love's Death
May 15, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Before a jury of George
Huguely V's peers convicted him in February of killing his
ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love, members saw footage of his hysteria
during an interrogation by police, photos of Love's bloodstained
bedroom and a series of plaintive text message he wrote to her. Today,
for the first time, the same evidence was revealed to the public.
The jury recommended a 26-year sentence after
finding Huguely guilty of second-degree murder for the May 2010
beating death of Love, a senior and fellow University of Virginia
lacrosse player. He is currently imprisoned awaiting official
sentencing in August, when a judge will either put him behind bars for
the full 26 years -- which includes a recommended one year for
stealing Love's laptop -- or reduce his term.
Tuesday's public viewing in Charlottesville Circuit
Court, however, was the first opportunity for non-jurors to see him
during the 64-minute video, in which he was informed of Love's death.
It was also the first chance for the media to see photos, text
messages and other evidence originally displayed only to the jury and
Footage from the police interrogation was perhaps
the most anticipated piece of evidence. It begins with Huguely alone
in a narrow room seated at the end of a wooden desk, wearing a black
T-shirt and shorts while waiting for Charlottesville detectives.
At trial, the public could hear, but not see the
taped interrogation. Some of the statements Huguely made had already
been circulated by the media, such as his admission that "maybe I
shook her a little bit" and "I may have grabbed her by the neck."
The questioning begins with police asking him to
describe what happened the night before when Love died.
He's animated throughout his retelling of the
argument and fight in Love's bedroom. He raises his hands to
demonstrate shaking her by the shoulders and mimics the way he said
she knocked her head against a wall. He clenches his fist to reenact
reaching through a hole he'd kicked in her bedroom door to unlock it.
At other times, he sits with his arms crossed as he
repeats answers, often brushing back his shaggy hair, which was more
neatly cropped during the trial.
Early in the questioning, Huguely insists that he
"never struck her or hit her in the face," a claim he frequently
More than halfway through the video, a detective
informs Huguely that Love is dead. After several seconds of silence,
Huguely is transformed. "She's dead," he says, looking downward.
"She's dead," now holding his head.
Seemingly in disbelief, he repeats the words
several times before denying again that he hit her. "She's not dead.
She's not dead," Huguely says, sobbing at times. "I didn't hurt
her...I don't believe it."
"Kill me," he says, leaning his head against the
wall as detectives stand him up to handcuff him.
He's returned to his chair for more questioning.
Stomping his foot over and over, Huguely says several times, "I told
you what happened."
The tape cut off with Huguely resting facedown on
The raw emotion of those moments helped convince
the jury that Love's murder was not premeditated.
"You see his change in demeanor when he finds out
it's something serious," juror Ian Glomski told The Huffington Post.
"When they say 'she's dead', he completely freaks out."
Before going to Love's apartment, Huguely sent a
series of text messages to other women, seeking a rendezvous. In a
message displayed in court today, Huguely invited one woman to "come
ova," but she turned him down, replying that she was at the library.
Glomski, a University of Virginia microbiologist,
said Huguely's interest in a late-night tryst also helped prove that
he didn't plan to kill Love, as the prosecution claimed.
Photos of Love's body, her medical records and
other so-called sensitive pieces of evidence that the jury saw were
not made available. A decision about their release is pending,
What juries get to see during criminal trials is
often different than what's available to the public, William and Mary
Law School professor Linda Malone told The Huffington Post.
"It's completely a balancing test that involves the
judge's discretion. The jury is making a very critical determination
of innocence or guilt," said Malone. "The public has a right to be an
informed public, but that's not the same thing."
The crime scene photos contained powerful images.
There were multiple pictures of a large blood stain on a
yellow-and-white patterned pillowcase that was likely Love's. Others
focused on splotches of blood on the comforter, sheets and carpet. The
pictures weren't labeled.
Photos showed splintered wood and a gaping hole
about 3-inches wide in a bedroom door probably created by Huguely's
Police photographed Huguely standing in flip-flops
with his ankle shackled. There were closeups of his bruised and
swollen fingers -- injuries that he told police came from playing
lacrosse. There were shots of a scratch on his wrist and gash on a
Huguely told police that he went to Love's
apartment to reconcile after a recent fight in which he claimed that
Love struck him repeatedly in his apartment.
A batch of text messages and emails between them
flashed for seconds on a flat-screen television in the courtroom.,
offering a brief glimpse into their tumultuous relationship that
continued on-and-off for more than two years.
"Help me make this work," Huguely wrote in one.
In an email from Love to Huguely, she wrote, "I
have never been in a relationship like this and I don't know what to
do," according to WINA.
The atmosphere outside the brick courthouse on
shady East High Street was calm and quiet compared to the caravan of
reporters, television crews and curious court-watchers that followed
every movement of Huguely's trial three months ago.
"Today? This was nothing," a court officer said to
HuffPost. "We had to use two buildings during the trial."
Besides members of the media, there were few
spectators on the wooden benches in the courtroom. Several people
declined to comment about why they attended.
Another viewing of the same evidence is scheduled
for Wednesday afternoon; photography is not allowed. Media
organizations requested that the judge make the material accessible.
Jury finds George Huguely guilty of
By Erik Brady - USAToday.com
February 23, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After nearly nine hours of
deliberation Wednesday, a jury found George Huguely V guilty of
second-degree murder and grand larceny involving the death of Yeardley
Love. Huguely was found not guilty on all other charges.
Second-degree murder in Virginia is defined as
murder with malice that is not premeditated. It carries a sentence of
five to 40 years. A sentence of grand larceny ranges from one to 20
After delivering the verdict, the jury deliberated
for almost two hours and recommended a sentence of 26 years, 25 years
for the murder charge and 1 year for grand larceny.
Circuit Court Judge Edward L. Hogshire can lower
that sentence but not add to it. A hearing will be held April 16 to
set a formal sentencing date.
As Huguely stood to hear the verdict, he made the
sign of the cross. But as Hogshire read the verdicts, Huguely betrayed
no emotion. He appeared to stare impassively, as he has through much
of the trial. Many of his family members and supporters had ashes on
their foreheads from Ash Wednesday services.
Prosecutor Warren D. Chapman spoke briefly outside
the courthouse afterward, under an umbrella in driving rain, and said
he hoped the verdict would provide solace to the Love family. "There
are no winners here," he said. "There is nothing but loss."
"Our sympathy and compassion go to the Love family,
as well as to the Huguely family, as they face the future and their
personal grief," university President Teresa A. Sullivan said in a
After comforting Huguely inside the courthouse,
co-defense counsel Francis McQ. Lawrence said he was disappointed by
the jury's verdict but said he was proud to represent Huguely "in his
fight for fairness over the last couple years."
"He has the support of his loving family," Lawrence
said, declining questions. "He's displayed amazing resilience and
He added. "I think those in the courthouse saw his
remorse during various times during the trial."
It was unclear Wednesday whether Lawrence planned
Shortly after the verdict was read, Sharon Love,
Yeardley Love's mother, was first to take the stand in the sentencing
Every year that goes by, Sharon Love said, she
wonders what her daughter would be doing now if she had lived. Sharon
wept as she said she is afraid she is forgetting little things about
Lexie Love, 28, Yeardley's sister, said they talked
every day by phone, and that they often talked about how they would
have to live by one another one day so their future children could be
Lexie said she tries to put her game face on and
stay strong every day but that the sadness can "creep up out of
nowhere and take you down really hard … and you don't know when it's
She added, "It hurts so bad. I never wanted
something so bad in my life than to see her face again."
Sharon told how at first she always thought
Yeardley would be coming into the room at any moment and that now she
knows her daughter is never coming into the room again. "I wish she
would," Sharon said.
Huguely's head was bowed most of the time as the
Loves gave their emotional testimony.
The defense called nobody to the stand during the
sentencing phase. Defense attorney Rhonda Quagliana told jurors no
person is the sum of his worst moment or worst judgment. And she said
her client's judgment at the time of Love's death was clouded by
drinking, immaturity and the turmoil of his emotional relationship
Sharon and Lexie Love issued a statement after the
sentencing that said in part, "Yeardley's contagious smile, kind
spirit and gentle touch have left this world, but we know that heaven
has an angel like no other."
The statement made no mention of Huguely.
Huguely, 24, had pleaded not guilty to six charges,
including first-degree murder and felony murder in commission of a
robbery. The case was heard by a jury of seven men and five women.
Jurors sat through a two-week trial and had three
full days off between Saturday evening's closing statements and the
beginning of deliberations Wednesday morning. They had hundreds of
trial exhibits, the testimony of nearly 60 witnesses and the competing
narratives of prosecution and defense to consider.
The case garnered national attention almost
immediately in 2010. Love, 22, was a pretty student at an elite
college who played lacrosse on a nationally ranked team and her
alleged killer was her on-again, off-again boyfriend. They were
University of Virginia seniors just weeks from graduation and he also
played lacrosse on a nationally ranked team.
Love was found dead, facedown in her bloody pillow,
by a roommate at around 2 a.m. on May 3, 2010. Police answered a call
of an alcohol overdose but officers saw a hole punched in her bedroom
door and quickly treated Love's bedroom as a crime scene.
Police brought Huguely in for questioning later
that day and he waived his right not to speak, telling interrogators
that he went to Love's apartment that night to talk to her. He said
she freaked out and they wrestled on the floor. He said he tossed her
in bed and left her apartment with her computer.
The medical examiner ruled she died of blunt force
trauma. The defense brought in medical experts to dispute that,
suggesting she smothered in her pillow and hemorrhages in her brain
were caused by CPR. The prosecution suggested those theories are
outside the bounds of accepted medical science.
Chapman in his closing depicted Huguely as a
controlling abuser who killed Love in a jealous rage. Defense attorney
Lawrence McQ. Lawrence depicted his client as a stupid, drunk "boy
athlete" who was incapable of murder, though Lawrence conceded that
Huguely "contributed" to Love's death and he asked the jury to
consider involuntary manslaughter.
Witnesses spoke of a volatile two-year relationship
marked by infidelities and jealousies on both sides. Huguely sent Love
an email in the days before she died that said, in part, "I should
have killed you." The defense called that an innocent idiom, not a
George Huguely Murder Trial Timeline: Former
College Lacrosse Player On Trial In Death Of Yeardley Love
February 20, 2012 - Updated April 30, 2012
George Huguely, 24, is accused of breaking into his
girlfriend's bedroom in May 2010, beating her to death, and walking
off with her computer. He and Yeardley Love both played on the
University of Virginia lacrosse teams, and were just weeks away from
Huguely faces 20 years to life in prison if
convicted of first-degree murder in the commission of a robbery. The
jury can also consider second degree murder (five to 40 years) or
involuntary manslaughter (one to 10 years), among other charges.
The prosecution argues that Huguely killed his
on-again, off-again girlfriend in a jealous fit. The defense admits
that the former college student's actions contributed to Love's death,
but that he never intended to kill her.
The following is a timeline of events in the case.
George Huguely is arrested for public drunkenness
in Lexington, Va. He scuffled with the arresting officer and shouted
obscenities at her, leading the cop to use a stun gun on him.
Huguely punched a sleeping teammate in the face
after being told that the fellow lacrosse player had kissed Yeardley
Love, 22, his girlfriend at the time.
May 2, 2010
Huguely, 22, is described as being inebriated for
much of the day, including the morning when he showed up for a
father-son golf outing with other members of the lacrosse team.
May 3, 2010
Love's body is found by her roommate around 2 a.m.
Her roommate tells the 911 dispatcher that Love possibly died from
alcohol poisoning, but police find signs of a struggle.
Hour laters, Charlottesville police interview
Huguely, who lived next door. In a one-hour recorded conversation,
Huguely admits that he and Love "wrestled" in her apartment, but
denies that he could have killed her. An officer said he immediately
considered Huguely because his knuckles were bruised and he had a cut
on his arm.
May 4, 2010
Huguely is charged with first-degree murder. His
lawyer Fran Lawrence says Love's death was accidental.
May 7, 2010
Love's friends tell police that the couple had a
tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship. Friends say the two
argued in a bar the night before she died.
July 7, 2010
The coroner's officer releases the results of its
autopsy, concluding that Love died from a "blunt force trauma."
Aug. 18, 2010
Court documents released reveal that Love's
sorority sisters said they once saw a fight between the couple in
which Love hit Huguely with her purse.
The court documents also showed that Huguely took
Love's laptop from her room the night she died.
Dec. 15, 2010
The defense begins mounting their attack on the
coroner's report by arguing that hemorrhaging could have been caused
by EMS workers who performed CPR on Love. They also asked for Love's
medical records and raised questions that the presence of the
prescription medicine Adderall in her system could have triggered a
March 6, 2011
The University of Virginia retires Love's lacrosse
April 18, 2011
A grand jury indicts Huguely on six counts,
including first-degree murder, robbery and burglary.
Feb. 3, 2012
Judge Edward Hogshire rules that graphic photos of
Love's battered body can be shown in court, but will not be visible to
Feb. 6, 2012
The first day of the Huguely murder trial opens
with jury selection.
Feb. 15, 2012
The prosecution wraps up its case after calling
about 50 witnesses in the first week and a half of the trial. The list
included medical experts who said Love died from "blunt force trauma,"
and a former teammate who said Huguely lied about where he was when
Feb. 22, 2012
A jury of seven men and five women convicts Huguely
of second-degree murder and suggests a sentence of 26 years.
The defense opened its case with medical experts
who said that it was more likely that Love died from suffocation.
Apr. 26, 2012
Sharon Love, Yeardley's mother, sues George Huguely
V for more than $30 million in in Charlottesville for the death of her
Yeardley Love Suffocated According To George
February 16, 2012
George Huguely's lawyers began their second day of
calling witnesses to the stand, a day after a doctor for the defense
testified that his ex-girlfriend died from suffocation and not a
Dr. Jan Leestma said in the Charlottesville
courtroom that Yeardly Love, Huguely's ex-girlfriend at the University
of Virginia, died from lying facedown in a pillow while blood built up
in her mouth, USA Today says.
Her position combined the fluid in her mouth could
be deadly, according to Leestma. "That could do it," he said.
The defense's medical expert also argued that
hemorrhaging in Love's brain was caused by CPR performed on her -- not
a blunt force trauma as the coroner's autopsy concluded.
Love died in May 2010 at age 22. Like Huguely, she
played lacrosse for the university.
The first witness called Wednesday by the defense
was toxicologist Alphonse Polkis who talked about Love's blood alcohol
level, which was between .16 and .18 on the night she died.
"She would've been impaired," Polkis said,
according to ABC News.
The trial was briefly interrupted by an outburst
from the defense's table that prompted the judge to clear the jury
from the court, ABC News reported. Journalists, confined to listening
to the trial from a separate room, couldn't hear exactly what provoked
the uproar. But before the audio from the courtroom was cut, Huguely's
lawyers asked the judge to dismiss the first-degree murder charge and
several lesser counts -- a motion the judge rejected.
The picture painted by Huguely's team stands in
stark contrast to the prosecutor's case against the 24-year-old former
college lacrosse player.
The prosecution alleges that Huguely, in a drunken
rage, went to Love's apartment, kicked open her bedroom door and beat
During the first week and a half of the
first-degree murder trial, prosecutors called roughly 50 witnesses to
testify that Huguely had an abusive relationship with Love, that he
regularly drank in excess and that he lied about where he was the
night she died, weeks short of graduation.
Medical experts who examined Love's battered body,
said she died from blunt force trauma to the head and denied that she
suffocated. Jurors were shown graphic photos of Love with bruises and
cuts on her body. They heard a recording of an interview in which
Huguely told police that he shook her and might have grabbed her by
George Huguely Trial: Medical Examiner Testifies
About Yeardley Love's Injuries
February 15, 2012
With gruesome photos still fresh on their minds,
jurors will hear more testimony from doctors who examined Yeardley
Love, the University of Virginia lacrosse player allegedly killed by
an abusive ex-boyfriend.
William Gormley, a Virginia medical examiner, who
performed the autopsy on Love said Monday that the combination of
bruises and scratches to her face, buttocks, leg, forearm and chest
could not have been caused by a single impact, The Washington Post
Her ex-boyfriend, George Huguely, who was a member
of the university's men's lacrosse team, told police in a videotaped
interview that he "shook her a little" and "may have grabbed her by
the neck," but didn't inflict serious harm to her on the night she
died in May 2010.
In early morning testimony, neuropathologist
Christine Fuller has testified that "blunt force trauma" caused the
contusions on Love's brain she found while dissecting the college
senior, according to TV station WTVR. She conceded that the head
injuries could have been caused by a fall, but it would have to been
from a considerable height.
Photos of her bruised corpse were shown yesterday
to the jury, attorneys and the judge, but were not publicly available.
Her right eye was swollen shut and her face was covered with bruises
and scrapes, according to a police report cited by CBS News.
Jurors were also shown emails between the former
couple. The batch of messages weren't shared with the public, but last
week prosecutors said Huguely once wrote "I should have killed you" in
an email to Love.
With the trial entering its second week yesterday,
Gormley said that abrasions on the 22-year-old woman's cheek and
bruises to her chin and lip were consistent with smothering, according
to ABC News.
However, it was also said that medication can cause
bruising, which ties in with the defense's argument that Love died
from a reaction to prescription medicine Adderall.
A Charlottesville police officer also took the
stand Monday and testified that Huguely's arms were bruised and
scraped, according to CBS News.
The witnesses were called to support the
prosecutor's claim that Huguely launched into a violent rage in Love's
apartment. They contend he kicked open her bedroom door and banged her
head against the wall. A roommate found her bleeding facedown on her
bed later that night.
The defense has said Huguely's injuries were caused
from playing lacrosse, according to ABC News. Previously, Huguely said
that Love banged her head against the wall. He's admitted to wrestling
with her that night, but said he didn't hit her.
Yeardley Love Died Of Blow To Head, Expert Says
February 15, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (Reuters) - University of
Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love likely died about two hours
after suffering a blow to the head that prosecutors say was inflicted
by the young woman's former boyfriend, A brain expert testified on
George Huguely V, 24, is accused of killing Love,
22, in 2010 in what authorities claim was the drunken culmination of a
tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship between the fellow senior
lacrosse players at the university.
Prosecutors said Love suffered brain trauma when
Huguely slammed her head against a wall. Dr. Christine Fuller, a
neuropathologist, said the injury was severe enough to cause Love to
lose motor functions before dying as many as two hours later.
Had Love survived the brain injuries, she could
have been left in a vegetative state, said Fuller, who analyzed Love's
Love's head jolted and then came to a sudden halt,
causing her brain to smash into the inner wall of her skull, Fuller
The trial, now in its second week, has focused
national media interest on the quiet college town of Charlottesville,
Virginia, and is expected to continue through at least Friday.
Huguely, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, has pleaded not
guilty to the charges against him, which include first-degree murder,
robbery, burglary at night, breaking and entering, grand larceny and
murder during a robbery.
His attorneys have suggested that Love's death was
Prosecution experts at the trial have agreed it was
unlikely Love died from falling and hitting her head on the floor,
saying the damage was probably too severe to have been caused by a
ground-level fall and noting her nose had no serious injuries.
But Huguely's defense team has focused on the
experts' inability to completely rule out a fall as the cause of
Love's brain trauma.
Huguely admitted in a videotaped police interview
played for jurors last week that he kicked in Love's bedroom door in
May 2010, wrestled with her and "may have shook her a little bit." He
claimed she had bloodied herself by banging her own head against the
Love, of Cockeysville, Maryland, was also drinking
that evening and was found by her roommate and an acquaintance face
down on her bed.
Assistant medical examiner Bill Gormley said Love
had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 but testified that alcohol
poisoning did not cause her death.
Huguely told police that he took Love's laptop when
he left her apartment and tossed it in a nearby dumpster.
Love and Huguely had ended their rocky relationship
of about two years a few weeks before her death. A man who said he had
"hooked up" with Love, prompting some of Huguely's anger, testified
last week that he had seen Huguely choking Love weeks before her
Forensic scientist Angela Rainey testified Tuesday
that DNA tests showed Love and Huguely each had the other's blood
under their fingernails.
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)
Teammates testify in murder trial involving
former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely
February 15, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A former University of
Virginia lacrosse player accused of killing his ex-girlfriend lied
about visiting friends hours before her battered body was found and
had a "blank stare" on his face, a former teammate testified Wednesday
just before the prosecution rested.
Ken Clausen and other teammates of George Huguely
testified at his first-degree murder trial in the May 3, 2010, slaying
of Yeardley Love. The woman's lacrosse player had a jealously fueled,
on-and-off relationship with Huguely.
Love, 22, was found in the bedroom of her
Charlottesville apartment with bruises on her body and a battered
right eye and neck. She died of blunt force trauma, an autopsy
concluded. Her apartment unit was next door to Huguely's.
The defense, which had not presented its witnesses,
claims Love's death was accidental, possibly the result of drinking
and a prescription drug the suburban Baltimore woman took for
attention-deficit disorder. A coroner has said those substances were
in her body but not in potentially lethal doses.
Huguely has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge
and five other counts.
Wednesday's testimony was intended to draw jurors
to the final hours leading to Love's death. Most of the witnesses were
former lacrosse players, many of whom knew Love.
The day before Love's body was found, Huguely was
sloppy drunk during an end-of-the lacrosse season father-son golf
tournament and dinner, his teammates said. Later that night, he and
other friends went to Huguely's apartment for beers and to watch TV.
About 20 minutes before midnight, they decided to
go to a nearby store to pick up some more beer while Huguely remained
in the apartment, the teammates said. They came back with the beer 15
or 20 minutes later, and Huguely was not in the apartment but soon
Huguely told his friends he had gone to visit two
other teammates in his apartment building. One of the teammates,
however, had stayed in his own apartment and was not in Huguely's
"We thought that was strange," said Clausen, who
went to retrieve the beers with another teammate, Kevin Carroll. "What
he said wasn't adding up. There was no reason to lie."
Asked by prosecutor Dave Chapman about Huguely's
demeanor, Clausen said, "He had this blank stare on his face."
Clausen said he repeatedly asked Huguely what was
bothering him. "I got no response," he said.
Clausen said he didn't see any injuries on Huguely,
who police said had bruised knuckles the morning they interrogated him
about Love's death.
But Clausen said of Huguely's mood after he
returned from the beer run, "There was no doubt in my mind there was a
change in his demeanor."
Carroll, Huguely's roommate, testified he detected
no difference in Huguely's mood. "I just thought he was really, really
drunk," Carroll testified.
Huguely told Carroll and Clausen he went to visit
fellow players Chris Clements and Will Bolton downstairs in Clements'
apartment. Bolton testified, however, that he was not with Clements
and was at his own apartment.
All of Huguely's former teammates said the Chevy
Chase, Md., man had been drinking heavily during the golf outing at
the Wintergreen resort and its clubhouse after the outing and at
dinner, when Huguely switched from beer to wine. Some of his teammates
had discussed an intervention to stop what they viewed as Huguely's
Carroll, who said he had known Love since grade
school, said Huguely and Love argued one week before her death. He
said he heard "raised voices" and angry words but did not know the
nature of the argument.
During earlier testimony this week, Chapman brought
to the stand the coroner who examined Love's body and other forensic
medical experts. They testified to her injuries, which included
bruising from a blunt force such as punch and a torqueing, which would
have caused bleeding at the base of her brain.
In a police interrogation interview hours after
Love's death, Huguely told a detective that he "shook her a little"
but did not hit her in the face. He said she hit her own head against
the wall and that he didn't think she was seriously hurt when he left.
Huguely said he had gone to Love's apartment "just
to talk." When she refused to let him in, he kicked through the door.
The door and a gaping hole in it have been in the courtroom for most
of the trial, which is in its eighth day.
University of Virginia lacrosse victim Yeardley
Love cried out for help in confrontation two months before her death
Romantic acquaintance testifies as witness to
By Kevin Armstrong - New York Daily News
Thursday, February 9, 2012
In late February of 2010, Mark Burns, then a
lacrosse player for the University of North Carolina, visited friends
at the University of Virginia. During a party, he heard a girl’s voice
yell, “Help me, help me.”
Burns opened a door and saw George Huguely V, then
a Virginia lacrosse player, lying on a bed with his arm around the
neck of Yeardley Love, a women’s lacrosse player who was on top of
Love, who had recently broken up with Huguely after
a rocky two-year relationship, then rushed out of the room.
“She just said ‘Thank you so much,’ ” Burns said.
Love broke down in tears and said she could not breathe.
Burns testified on Day 2 of Huguely’s murder trial
Thursday in Charlottesville, Va., as the defendant sat emotionless at
a table with his lawyers. Prosecutor Dave Chapman linked the scene of
apparent choking to Love’s death two months later on a night when
Huguely allegedly kicked down the bedroom door in Love’s off-campus
apartment and shook her, causing Love’s head to bang against the wall.
Love died face-down in a pool of her blood.
Huguely, 24, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree
murder, felony murder in the commission of a robbery, robbery,
burglary in the nighttime, grand larceny and breaking and entering.
His attorneys maintained that he was drunk the night Love died and
insisted Love, an athlete in excellent condition, died from a
cardiopulmonary failure caused in part by Adderall and alcohol.
Burns, who described his relationship with Love as
“hooking up” a few times, first after the Preakness Stakes in 2008 and
again the week before she died, said he stayed at her apartment the
night he saw Huguely’s arm around her neck. Burns, seen as a romantic
rival of Huguely’s, was the subject of contention in a series of
emails between Love and Huguely in the days before she died.
On April 30, 2010, four days before Love died,
Huguely authored a threatening email.
“A week ago you said you would get back together
with me if I stopped getting so drunk and then you go and (have sex
with Burns). I should have killed you.”
“You should have killed me? You’re so fed up,” Love
On Thursday, Love’s mother, Sharon, cried in court
as Charlottesville Police Patrolman K.W. Chapman, who was responding
to a 911 call for a potential alcohol overdose, described the crime
scene of her daughter’s death. Love was wearing only underwear and
lying near the side of her bed when Chapman kneeled down to check
whether she was breathing and detected nothing.
He then unsuccessfully tried CPR. Her face was
bloodied and bruised.
“When I saw that, I knew that this was nowhere near
the report that I was given,” Chapman said.
Huguely indicted on first-degree, felony murder
The circumstances surrounding Love's death have
left many unanswered questions
By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun
April 18, 2011
A grand jury in Virginia considering charges in the
death of Cockeysville resident Yeardley Love indicted her ex-boyfriend
on Monday on first-degree and felony murder charges, and a judge set a
trial date of Feb. 6.
Still, new evidence presented at an April hearing
against suspect George Huguely V is raising questions about whether
prosecutors can prove the most serious charges at trial and about how
the University of Virginia women's lacrosse player died.
Defense lawyers have contended that Love's death
was the result of a "tragic accident" and that the evidence revealed
thus far does not support a charge of premeditated murder. The grand
jury that met Monday disagreed, upholding all the charges that police
had filed against Huguely.
Prosecutors in Virginia do not have to share many
details about their case with defense attorneys, at least at this
stage, and the lead attorney for the commonwealth has declined to
comment. Experts watching the trial caution that there might be a lot
of evidence yet to emerge.
Early accounts from authorities portrayed Love's
death as the result of a violent confrontation with her former
boyfriend. New accounts from the hearing revealed past confrontations
between the victim and suspect, and that both had been drinking on the
Huguely was "heavily intoxicated" after returning
from a father-son golf outing at nearby Wintergreen Resort, and Love
had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent, according to the results of
the autopsy. A police affidavit indicated that the 22-year-old woman
was badly bloodied and bruised after Huguely, a member of the men's
lacrosse team, had shaken her several times and bashed her head
against the bedroom wall.
But testimony during the nine-hour hearing April 11
revealed evidence that contradicts some details in this account.
Love's apartment showed few signs of a violent struggle and a
"red-stained" T-shirt taken by police proved not to have any trace
evidence of blood.
"The picture that we have of a violent, bloody
death scene has been overthrown," said Anne Coughlin, a criminal law
professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. "It is a
different kind of altercation. Now it becomes a question of how hard
he hit her and all of those things. It's a different kind of event.
"We've come out of this hearing with a much
different impression of the facts than we've had for a long time,"
An independent crime scene investigator said in
court last week that there was no blood spatter or indentations on the
walls, and that Love's bedroom was hardly disturbed after her brief
confrontation with Huguely. A downstairs neighbor who said in court
she heard a loud noise and footsteps recalled seeing a man fitting
Huguely's description leaving between "six and 10 minutes" after she
heard the noise. Police said that Huguely had kicked or punched a hole
in the door of Love's bedroom.
A lab technician who examined Huguely's clothes
said she found a couple of drops of blood on one shirt, but that a
red-stained T-shirt taken by police from Huguely's apartment did not
have any trace evidence of blood.
"Today's testimony began to correct and clarify
several misimpressions about this case, and the remaining testimony
and evidence will come out at trial," defense attorney Rhonda
Quagliana said in a statement after the April hearing.
The felony murder charge was brought in January,
intimating that Huguely killed Love in the process of committing
another crime such as burglary or theft. Huguely took a computer from
Love's apartment and dumped it in a trash bin, police said.
A veteran attorney said there should be no surprise
that a case such as Huguely's, which has attracted widespread
attention, appears to strengthen or weaken as court hearings and
filings progress. Details that may at first seem to be contradictory
could fit seamlessly into the timeline at trial.
"The press is greedy for information, and there is
this clamor to find out information, some of which is true, some of
which is not true," said Jeff Harding, who was unsuccessful in
prosecuting Brian Tribble for providing the cocaine that killed Len
Bias, the University of Maryland basketball star, in 1986.
"All of this information has not been thoroughly
investigated, it has not been analyzed," Harding said. "You will see
an initial press release where the police say A, B and C, and when
they further investigate it, it turns out to be D,E and F. … The
information keeps getting refined until you get to court."
Court hears details of U.Va. lacrosse player
George Huguely accused in death of Yeardley Love
By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun
April 11, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — — A procession of former
University of Virginia lacrosse players and students, police officers
and medical experts on Monday gave the most detailed account to date
of the May 3 incident that left Yeardley Love dead at her off-campus
According to testimony at a preliminary hearing,
George Huguely, who is accused of murder, was badly intoxicated in the
hours leading up to the death of his ex-girlfriend, a 22-year-old from
Cockeysville. Much of the drinking had been done at a nearby resort,
where members of the lacrosse team and their fathers competed in a
golf tournament, teammate Kevin Carroll said.
Prosecutor Dave Chapman presented his case in
precise and often agonizingly graphic detail in a hearing that lasted
more than eight hours in the city's Circuit Court. After hearing
testimony from more than 20 witnesses, Judge Robert Downer ruled that
there was enough evidence to send the case to the grand jury, which is
scheduled to meet here Monday.
None of the witnesses showed much emotion, but dry
forensic evidence sometimes gave way to colorful excerpts from
An hour after police began interrogating Huguely, a
detective told him that Love was dead. "She's dead, George, you killed
her," the detective said, according to Huguely's attorney, Fran
Lawrence said his client, who had waived his right
to avoid police questioning, was surprised.
"She's dead?" Huguely said. "She's not dead, she's
Huguely, now 23, was not present at the hearing,
having waived his rights to appear. He is being held on first-degree
homicide and felony murder charges, as well as other counts related to
the incident, which came less than two weeks before Huguely and Love
were scheduled to graduate.
Huguely has not entered a formal plea, but his
attorney has called Love's death "an accident." After the hearing,
defense attorney Rhonda Quagliana said, "From the beginning we said
this case was a tragedy but not an intentional criminal act."
In the crowded courtroom, Huguely's relatives and
friends sat across the aisle from Love's family and friends. At one
point, as Caitey Whiteley, in almost a monotone, described seeing the
door to Love's bedroom with a hole in it and her longtime friend
laying face down on her bed, Love's mother, Sharon, walked out of the
courtroom and did not return for a while.
Whiteley was a college teammate and roommate who
had known Love since they played club lacrosse together in Baltimore.
Whiteley, along with a male friend, discovered Love's body in the
off-campus apartment they shared.
Whiteley, the first to testify, spoke of the "on
and off" relationship Love and Huguely had since they arrived in
Charlottesville as freshman. She said Love became angry earlier that
week after learning that Huguely had been seeing other women.
"She was obviously confused, how other people knew
about it but she didn't," Whiteley said.
That revelation led to a confrontation between Love
and Huguely at Huguely's apartment six days before she died.
Elizabeth McLean, a sorority sister of Love's, said
she heard the two arguing while she was in the bedroom with her
boyfriend, Carroll. The argument stemmed from the presence of two high
school girls who, McLean learned, were at the apartment.
"It was pretty loud," McLean recalled. "She asked [Huguely]
who the girls were."
McLean said she also heard a noise, as if something
had been thrown. It turned out that Love had thrown her purse at
Huguely, scattering its contents.
McLean said that she later escorted Love back to
her apartment, located just yards from where Huguely lived. "I thought
it would be better if they were separated," McLean said.
A few days later, McLean testified, Love called her
to ask her to retrieve a camera and cell phone that had fallen out of
Carroll recalled that Huguely was in their
apartment around 10:30 on the night of May 3, but later left. When
Huguely told him that he had been in the same apartment complex
drinking with two other teammates, Carroll called one of them to
check. It turned out, he said, that Chris Clements was pulling an
all-nighter for a project and had locked his apartment door when he
hear Huguely coming down the stairs.
Neither Clements nor Carroll knew where Huguely had
gone, but a man fitting his description was later seen leaving the
building where Love lived.
One of Love's downstairs neighbors, Anna Leahman,
said that she had heard arguments emanating from the upstairs
apartment before. On the night Love died, Leahman said she only heard
a loud noise that was "out of the ordinary." But the pre-med student
went back to her studying and didn't think much of it until she heard
about the death the next morning.
By that point, Huguely was under arrest and in
police custody. He is being held without bail.
At Monday's hearing, Lawrence got one of the
investigators to acknowledge that no marks or blood spatterings were
found on the walls. The testimony contradicts what police had asserted
in one of the original affadavits: that Huguely had banged Love's head
against the wall repeatedly.
In December, a judge rejected a request by
Huguely's attorneys to see Love's medical records, saying they were
not relevant to the case. Defense attorneys had sought the records in
an attempt to prove Love died of cardiac arrhythmia causing
insufficient blood flow to the head rather than blunt force trauma
inflicted by Huguely.
But one of the last witnesses, Virginia chief
medical examiner William Gormley, said that the cause of death was
"blunt force trauma" and that injuries to Love's brain stem
contributed to her death.