UVa. case prosecutors: Huguely sent death threat

Testimony resumes Thursday in the trial of George Huguely, a former University of Virginia lacrosse player charged with killing his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love. 

The 22-year-old Love, a UVA student and lacrosse player, was found dead in her apartment almost two years ago in May 2010. Huguely, 23, is accused of kicking in the door of Love's apartment and slamming her head into a wall.

During Wednesday's opening statements there were other charges of cheating and death threats.

Pictures: UVA lacrosse murder

Prior to Love's death, prosecutors say Huguely sent her an e-mail accusing her of having sex with another man, saying, "I should have killed you." Threats, the defense argues, still does not prove premeditated murder.

Seen publicly for the first time in nearly two years, a clean-shaven Huguely looked thinner than the beefed-up lacrosse player accused of murder. He appeared anxious, taking notes as he was painted with a violent past enraged by jealousy.

Two days before Love's death, prosecutors say Huguely fired off an angry e-mail, which said, "You said I you would get back together with me if I stopped drinking. Then you went and (expletive) Mike Burns. I should have killed you then."

On those threats, prosecutors say, Huguely followed through, kicking down her bedroom door, beating her to death, then stealing her laptop computer to dispose of the incriminating e-mails.

Former prosecutor Wendy Murphy told CBS News, "It's hard to prove what's in a person's mind. What's the next thing, something in writing -- 'I wish I'd killed you.' How do you explain that?"

Huguely's attorneys urged the jury to consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter -- not first-degree or felony murder, which cares a life sentence if convicted. They say Huguely was drunk that night -- so drunk he was incapable of plotting to kill. He went to her apartment wanting only to talk, but it escalated. The defense quoted from the police interrogation just hours after love's death, Huguely said, "She's not dead. I didn't. I did not. I never did anything that could do that to her."

The defense also began efforts to cast doubt on Love's official cause of death of blunt force trauma, suggesting that prescription medication and alcohol in her system could have been factors, too.

Murphy said, "The defense might well be able to put on an expert say, 'Yes, he banged her head on a wall, but she died from something else.' The question is, will a jury believe it?"

Love, CBS News has learned, did not die immediately after that beating took place. Instead, she lied face down on her bed for two hours unable to move, unable to cry for help.

  • Whit Johnson

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