Jury: Huguely killed Love, but didn't plan to

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - George Huguely is now a convicted murderer.

A jury found the former University of Virginia lacrosse star guilty of the second degree murder of his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, who also starred in lacrosse for the school.

The question has always been: Did Huguely intend to kill Love when he barged into her apartment in a drunken rage in May 2010?

The jury made clear it thought Huguely is a killer -- but not one who premeditated his crime.

When the decision was announced, Huguely's family burst out of the courtroom, some overcome by emotion.

The final result was summed up in pouring rain by prosecutor Dave Chapman, who said, "There are no winners in this case. There's nothing but loss everywhere."

After nine hours of jury deliberations, Huguely, 24, listened with no reaction as the judge read him his verdict. The jury said his vicious assault on Love caused his ex-girlfriend's death.

Later, during the sentencing phase, Hugely was crying, his head down, as Love's mother, Sharon, delivered a tearful testimony.

"Every year that goes by," she said, "I'm afraid I'm forgetting little pieces about her."

Love's sister, Lexie, was next to break down on the stand, saying, "It hurts so bad. I've never wanted something so bad but to see her face again."

"We hope," Chapman said, "they feel some solace from the outcome."

Love's family later wrote in a statement, "Yeardley's contagious smile, kind spirit and gentle touch have left this world, but we know that heaven has an angel like no other."

Love was only weeks away from graduating when she was found on her bed, face-down in a pool of blood, her life taken by an abusive, jealous ex-boyfriend with a serious drinking problem.

Huguely's lawyers, who claimed Love's death was only a tragic accident, vowed to keep fighting for their client. "We look forward to some corrections in what happened here tonight," said Francis McQ. Lawrence.

The jury recommended 25 years for second degree murder and an additional year for grand larceny for stealing Love's laptop computer.

The judge will have the final decision, but that could be more than a month away.

To see Whit Johnson's report, click on the video in the player above.

  • Whit Johnson

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