Q&A: George Huguely murder trial evidence released


Here are answers to some questions that you might have, and you can pose additional questions in the comments section below. I will try to answer those questions throughout the day.


View Photo Gallery: The George Huguely trial.


Sketch of the Charlottesville courtroom during George Huguely’s trial. (The Associated Press)

So why now? During the February trial, The Washington Post, Gannett and several television outlets asked to see the exhibits. Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Edward L. Hogshire denied that request, saying that it would have interrupted the proceedings, which were delayed by a longer-than-expected jury selection and the illness of a defense attorney. The media outlets have continued to push for access.

Why does it matter at this point? Access to this evidence should help the public evaluate the quality of the evidence presented in this case and understand why the jury made the decision that it did. Charlottesville defense lawyer Lloyd Snook told my colleague Mary Pat Flaherty: “When you can’t see that, it’s a private trial with secrets, not the public trial we guarantee.”


Evidence is brought in to the Charlottesville Circuit Courthouse in February. (Sabrina Schaeffer/AP/The Daily Progress)

What is expected to be released? The viewing session is expected to begin with a viewing of Huguely’s videotaped police statement, according to a court clerk. For those who sat through the trial, this will be our first look at Huguely’s actions, facial expressions and demeanor during the emotional interview. Some other evidence that we might get to see: the profane e-mail exchange between Huguely and Love, a surveillance video from a popular bar near campus which reportedly showed Huguely and Love being affectionate toward each other the same weekend as her death, the text messages Huguely sent other women and a handwritten letter that Huguely wrote to Love apologizing for an earlier incident. There are also hundreds of photographs that were entered into evidence

How can the general public see this evidence? Anyone who ventures to the Charlottesville Circuit Court on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. or Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. can view the exhibits. Note-taking is allowed, but not recording, copying or photography.


George Huguely V is escorted to Charlottesville Circuit Court in February. (Sabrina Schaeffer/AP)

Have there been civil lawsuits filed in connection with this case? Yes. Sharon Love, the victim’s mother, has sued Huguely for more than $30 million for acting with “reckless indifference,” and “negligence” in Love’s 2010 death. Love also filed a suit against the university and several of its top athletic officials alleging they knew of Huguely’s heavy drinking and “erratic, aggressive behavior,” which included two alcohol-related arrests and several attacks on fellow students, and did not properly respond. That suit seeks $29.45 million in damages.

Do you have additional questions? I invite you to ask them in the comments section below. I will try to answer as many questions as I can throughout the day.

For even more higher education news, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. And here is some previous coverage of this trial:

Live Q&A: Reporters discuss details of George Huguely trial and verdict (Feb. 23)

Boylan Heights bar at center of U-Va. drinking scene (Feb. 21)

U-Va. prepares for George Huguely’s trial for the murder of Yeardley Love (Feb. 3)

Jenna Johnson is a political reporter who is covering the 2016 presidential campaign.

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