CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Jurors in the trial of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player have found him guilty of second-degree murder in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend.
A jury returned the verdict Wednesday in the trial of 24-year-old George Huguely V for the May 3, 2010, beating death of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old suburban Baltimore woman who had a volatile relationship with the Chevy Chase, Md., defendant.
Huguely could be sentenced to five to 40 years on the guilty verdict, returned after nine hours of deliberations.
Love was found face down on her pillow in the early hours of May 3, 2010. Her right eye was swollen and bruised, she had marks on her chest that suggested she was grabbed and had injuries around her jaw, inside her mouth and neck. A coroner concluded she died of blunt force trauma. Medical experts offered various possible causes for her death, saying she may have died from a bruised and bleeding brain or smothering in her blood-dampened pillow.
In the video of his interrogation, Huguely says he went to Love's apartment the night of May 2, 2010 to talk about their relationship and that she "freaked out" when he broke into her room. Huguely admitted he may have shaken her but insisted he didn't grab her neck or punch her. He also claimed she repeatedly banged her head on the bedroom wall.
While the defense acknowledged during Saturday's closing arguments that Huguely had an unintended, accidental role in Love's death, they argued that he had no intent to harm her. Prosecutors painted a more sinister picture, saying Huguely went to Love's room in a jealous rage, fatally beating her and leaving her to die. The altercation occurred less than one week after Huguely sent Love a threatening email about her apparent physical relationship with a North Carolina lacrosse player.