CHARLOTTESVILLE — George Huguely V’s Wednesday conviction for second-degree murder brought to an end an emotional two-week trial that deeply touched two families, but also reached into the University of Virginia community.
Both Huguely and his onetime girlfriend, Yeardley Love, were seniors there when he kicked through her bedroom door in May 2010, shook her, wrestled with her and tossed her on her bed. She was found dead hours later.
After the jury’s verdict was handed down, the Love family and University of Virginia president Teresa A. Sullivan, who was not in the post at the time of Love’s death, released statements. The Huguely family declined to comment.
The Loves thanked the prosecutor and those who have reached out to them to share stories about Yeardley. The statement was signed by Yeardley Love’s mother, Sharon, and sister, Lexie. Yeardley Love’s father died when she was in high school.
Here is the Love family statement:
We dread looking back on the events of May 3, 2010 and pray for the strength to get through each day. Time has not made us miss Yeardley any less, in fact quite the opposite. It is truly devastating to wake up each day and realize that she is no longer here. Yeardley’s contagious smile, kind spirit and gentle touch have left this world but we know that heaven has an angel like no other. We will continue to keep her spirit alive by performing works of kindness in her name. We would like to thank the Commonwealth and particularly Dave Chapman for his tireless efforts on our behalf.
Our hearts burst with pride when we think of Yeardley’s accomplishments but our hearts melt when we remember her kindness and grace. We have received letters from so many people telling us stories of her many acts of kindness. Intelligence and athletic ability are God given talents. Kindness and compassion are choices choices that Yeardley made every day without a single thought. We’d like to thank everyone for their kindness and respect of our privacy during such a difficult time.
Sullivan wrote that the university extends “sympathy and compassion” to the Love family and the Huguely family.
Here is Sullivan’s statement:
Prior to the trial of George Huguely, I said the University would withhold any comments until the trial had concluded. The jury now has rendered its verdict and a young man – a former member of our community – has been found guilty for the death of fellow student Yeardley Love.
As Professor Anne Coughlin reminded us on Feb. 2, the conclusion of a trial like this may bring a momentary sense of justice or retribution, but our judicial system can never restore to a family what it has lost. Yeardley’s family, teammates, sorority sisters and friends – indeed all of us at the University – continue to feel the loss of this promising young woman. It remains now to each of us to commit to caring for one another and, when we see someone in trouble, to having the courage to intercede and offer assistance.
Our sympathy and compassion go to the Love family, as well as to the Huguely family, as they face the future and their personal grief.
While the Huguely family declined to comment on Wednesday, in May, 2010 George Hugely’s mother, Marta Murphy, released a written statement.Here is Marta Murphy’s May 2010 statement:
As one would imagine, we have received numerous inquiries from the media asking for interviews and comments. It has been difficult to remain silent during this dark, tumultuous time.As a mother, I never expected to be in a situation like this. Though my pain is great, it will never come close to the anguish felt by the Love family. Along with my family, I am devastated and confused. We are all trying to understand and cope as best we can.
Yeardley was part of our lives. I got to know her as George’s mom. She was a sweet wonderful young woman with a limitless future. We also know her mother, Sharon. The pain she and her family are suffering is something that no family should ever have to endure. No parent should have to bury a child and not a moment goes by when they are not in our thoughts and our prayers. On behalf of our family, I want to express how deeply saddened we are by Yeardley’s loss.
Also as a mother, I hope that people can understand that both George’s father and I love our son. We will support George in whatever way we can — just as any mother or father would do for their child.
As a person of faith, I continue to pray for the Love family, for Yeardley’s friends and, for my son George. We continue to grieve and try to cope with this tragedy and hope our need to do so in private and out of public view will be respected.
The jury sentenced Huguely to 26 years in prison for second-degree murder and grand larceny — finding he took Love’s laptop computer when he left her apartment. Circuit Judge Edward L. Hogshire can reduce, but not increase, that sentence. A date for formal imposition of the sentence has not yet been set.More about the trial: