Huguely texted other women night Love was killed

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The defense is now getting its turn in the trial of a University of Virginia lacrosse player accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend.

Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday, after friends testified that the defendant was out of control.

CBS News has learned that, on the night of the alleged attack on Yeardley Love, George Huguely was exchanging what were described as "playful" text messages with three other women. Those messages continued late into the night, and even after the attack Huguely is accused of carrying out.

The day before Love's body was found, Huguely's teammates say, he was belligerent, drinking all day long. That night, they say, he was worse -- disappeared for a while, came back, then lied about where he was.

In Wednesday's testimony, Huguely lacrosse teammates painted him as a menacing drunk.

Around midnight on May 3, 2010, friends say, Huguely was gone from his apartment, where he was partying earlier, roughly the same time Yeardley Love was allegedly beaten to death.

"When he came back," one teammate said, "there was no doubt in my mind there was a change in (his) demeanor." He had, the teammate said, a "blank stare" on his face.

But Huguely never explained what was wrong. Instead, he gave some story about visiting friends - a story the teammate knew was a lie.

"That," says Charlottesville defense attorney Scott Goodman, "showed consciousness of guilt."

Goodman, who's practiced law in the city for 34 years, says the testimony hurts the defense, which claims Huguely was way too drunk to plot a murder. It "shows he was aware he had done something wrong, had something to hide, and had the ability to form that presence of mind to say it," Goodman said.

Teammates say Huguely had been drinking all day during a father/son golf tournament. One saw him with a "beer ... in hand ... about 11 a.m." Another said by that night, he was "sloppy, incoherent, not speaking properly." He was later seen "peeing on the side of (a) building."

But this kind of behavior, friends say, was by now a regular occurrence -- behavior that led to abuse, and has many asking how could it take place between two successful, well-educated young people.

Experts in domestic violence are not surprised.

"It can happen to people of all ages, people of all walks of life," says Marjorie Gilberg, executive director of Break the Cycle. "If you live in the inner-city or if you live in a very privileged background, it really doesn't matter. You could be a victim of this crime."

Tragically, friends of the couple say, they considered intervening -- even on that last night - but they never did.

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