Huguely Case Goes to Jury Wednesday - NBC4 Washington

Huguely Case Goes to Jury Wednesday

Huguely facing from one year to life in prison



    Jurors have a long weekend before beginning deliberations in the George Huguely case. He's accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love in 2010. (Published Monday, Feb. 20, 2012)

    It's been a gut-wrenching trial for the families of both the victim and the accused.

    Now the jury is set to begin deliberations Wednesday to decide the fate of George Huguely, charged with killing ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love in May 2010.

    Both were students and lacrosse players at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville at the time. Huguely grew up in Chevy Chase, Md.; Love was from Cockeyville, Md.

    In his closing argument, prosecutor Dave Chapman became tearful while disputing the defendant's claim that Huguely went to Love's apartment the night she died to talk things over. Chapman pointed to the hole Huguely kicked in Love's bedroom door when she wouldn't let him in.

    "What kind of conversation starter is that?" Chapman asked in court. "That's the beginning of terror."

    Chapman also reminded jurors of an email Huguely sent to Love after learning she had been with another man. It read in part, "I should have killed you."

    Just days later, Chapman charged, Huguely went to Love's apartment, beat her and left her to die facedown in her bed.

    During the two-week trial, experts testified that Love died of blunt-force trauma to the head.

    The final defense witness: a neurosurgeon who told jurors he did not think a blow to the head caused Love's death. "I thought she died of oxygen deprivation," he said.

    The defense called Love's death a tragic accident, a combination of injuries inflicted by Huguely and the alcohol she drank earlier that night.

    Defense attorney Francis Lawrence called Huguely's email to Love "hyperbole" and said he was incapable of carrying out a murder, calling him "stupid," "drunk" and "not calculating -- a boy athlete."

    He suggested that jurors consider a lesser charge such as involuntary manslaughter instead of premeditated murder.

    Legal experts say Huguely's drunkenness the night of Love's death may bolster that case. "Legally, if George Huguely was so drunk that he couldn't form a coherent thought, then he can't be guilty under Virginia law of first-degree murder," one expert told NBC4.

    Huguely is facing anywhere from one year to life in prison.