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George Huguely's ex-lacrosse teammates testify he often drank heavily

George Huguely and Yeardley Love
George Huguely and Yeardley Love AP/Dialy Progress via Charlottesville Police Department

(CBS) CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - George Huguely V was reportedly drinking heavily four times a week with such intensity that his close friends met to discuss an intervention, former teammates testified Thursday at his murder trial.

Former University of Virginia lacrosse player Huguely, 24, is charged in the death of Yeardley Love, who was found dead in her apartment in 2010, just days before final exams.

Huguely has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and five other offenses.

The Washington Post reports Huguely's defense team has said he went to Love's off-campus apartment that night in May 2010 to patch-up the latest in their series of breakups during two years of dating.

During the second day of testimony, a jury heard from a student who attended a February 2010 party in the apartment building where Huguely lived. The witness said he heard a woman yelling "Help me! Help me!" and opened a bedroom door to see Huguely with his arm tight around Love's neck.

When Huguely heard the witness enter, he released Love.

"She just said, 'Thank you so much,' " said witness Michael Burns, who demonstrated the chokehold he said he had seen to the jury. "She also said she couldn't breathe. She was hysterically crying."

Huguely's alleged drinking problem was known to his friends and teammates, according to testimony.

At about 1 a.m. on May 3, 2010, a sorority sister of Love's told her boyfriend -- who was Huguely's roommate -- that Huguely's "excessive drinking" was "becoming an issue," according to testimony. Elizabeth McLean told jurors that Huguely was not in control of his drinking or his behavior.

The jurors in Huguely's trial will also see an hour-long video recording Friday of Huguely's statements to police following the discovery of Love, ABC news reports.

The court has been highly sensitive to privacy through the trial thus far, showing graphic photos of Love's body only to jurors. It is expected that the video will also only be shown to the jury.

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