Emotions high in UVa. lacrosse murder trial

There were dramatic moments Friday in the murder trial of former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely.

He's charged with murdering his on-again, off-again girlfriend and fellow lacrosse star Yeardley Love in May 2010.

Jurors heard his side of the story for the first time, in his own words.

Huguely did not testify, but his videotaped interrogation, recorded just hours after Yeardley Love's murder, was played for the courtroom.

At one point, Huguely broke down crying -- his first show of emotion in the trial.

It was the fifth - and most riveting day -- of the 24-year-old's trial.

The entire courtroom witnessed his first reaction to Yeardley Love's death. Interrogation tapes showed a calm and cooperative Huguely., until a female detective seemed to stun him when she said, "I have something to tell you. She's dead."

Simultaneously, Huguely broke into tears in court, just as he did on the video.

Love's sister, Lexi, began sobbing so loudly a victims' rights advocate had to intervene.

Family, friends and even jurors were visibly gripped by emotion, as the tapes continued with Huguely's response.

Prosecutors say on that night nearly two years ago, after a long day of drinking, Huguely went to Love's apartment and, in a drunken rampage, kicked down her bedroom door, and beat her to death.

In the interrogation, Huguely claimed he just wanted to talk, to work things out with his former girlfriend, saying to investigators, "She started freaking. I shook her a little." And they "wrestled on the ground."

"I never struck her or hit her," Huguely insisted. "I may have grabbed her neck, but I didn't strangle her."

For Huguely to get a life sentence, the prosecution has to prove he intended to kill Love. The defense maintains he was way too drunk to plot a murder and that it was all a tragic accident.

To see Whit Johnson's report, click on the video in the player above. For analysis of the trial so far, from Jean Casarez of Court TV's IN Session," click on the video below:

  • Whit Johnson

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