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George Huguely Guilty

February 24, 2012 by staff 

George Huguely Guilty, Jurors found a former University of Virginia lacrosse player guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday in the drunken, jealousy-fueled slaying of his ex-girlfriend, rejecting a verdict of first-degree murder and a possible life sentence.

George Huguely V, 24, stood, flanked by his attorneys, as jurors returned the verdict after about nine hours of deliberations. He was convicted in the slaying of Yeardley Love, who was found bloodied, beaten and bruised in the bedroom of her Charlottesville apartment in the early morning hours of May 3, 2010.

Huguely displayed no emotion as the verdict was read. Sobbing could be heard in the courtroom filled with family and friends of Love and Huguely.

Jurors who returned the verdict immediately began deliberating a sentence, which will include punishment for a grand larceny charge the jury also found him guilty on. The jury recommended Huguely serve 25 years in prison for murder and one year for grand larceny. Formal sentencing will occur at a later date.

Prosecutors said Huguely, of Chevy Chase, Md., killed the U.Va. women’s lacrosse player after a day of golf and binge drinking, incensed that she had had a relationship with a North Carolina lacrosse player. Love’s right eye was bashed in and she was hit with such power that her brain was bruised. She also had wrenching head injury that caused bleeding at the base of her brain stem.

A coroner concluded she died of blunt force trauma. Defense and prosecution experts offered different medical opinions on the lethal consequences of her injuries.

Prosecutor Dave Chapman, who described the night Love was killed as a scene from a horror show, said Huguely kicked a hole in Love’s door to get in her bedroom and left his on-again, off-again girlfriend to die.

Huguely’s attorneys said he only went to Love’s apartment to talk before the encounter quickly turned physical. He said she banged her head against the wall of her bedroom, and she only had a bloody nose when he left.

A prosecution witness testified Love smothered in her own blood-dampened pillow.

Love’s mother, Sharon, tearfully testified during the sentencing phase as Huguely cast his gaze down at the defense table. She described the death of her daughter as “unbearable.”

“Every year that goes by I’d like to know what she’d be doing now,” Sharon Love said.

Love’s sister, Lexie, 28, described the absence of her kid sister.

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