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Crime Scene
Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 04/11/2011

Hearing on murder charges for George Huguely

Update, 12:15 p.m.:

Court officials moved the preliminary hearing for former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V to accomodate an anticipated large audience for his hearing on charges of killing his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love on May 3.

Defense attorneys have waived Huguely’s right to appear in court in person or by video and it is unclear whether he will be present.

Huguely’s attorneys have subpoenaed 22 witnesses, including forensic experts, paramedics and police. Their list also includes employees of a local bar and sandwich shop. The prosecution has subpoenaed four witnesses, all either officers or representatives of the state Medical Examiner’s Office.

A dozen television news crews waited outside the courthouse before the start of the 1 p.m. hearing.

Original Post:

Former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely, 23, is due in court Monday for a preliminary hearing on murder charges in the May 3 death of his one-time girlfriend and fellow student, Yeardley Love, 22.

Huguely, of Chevy Chase, has been jailed without bond in Charlottesville since his arrest hours after police said Love’s body, face down on a bedroom pillow in a pool of blood, was discovered by a roommate in an off-campus apartment.

Love, of Cockeysville, also played lacrosse for the university. She had broken off a relationship with Huguely shortly before her death, according to an account police said Huguely gave them.

A preliminary hearing does not involve entering a plea. It requires only that prosecutors show there is probable cause that a defendant may have committed a crime, not that they share all of their evidence. A district court judge would then certify the case to a grand jury for possible indictment.

Huguely’s hearing is set for Monday afternoon in Charlottesville General District Court.

Huguely’s attorneys previously have said the death was “an accident with a tragic outcome.” The state medical examiner ruled Love died of blunt force trauma to the head in a homicide.

Huguely is accused of kicking down the door to Love’s apartment, banging her head against a wall during an argument, then leaving her bleeding, police have said in court documents. Both were in their senior year.

Huguely originally was charged with first-degree murder, which obliges prosecutors to prove Huguely intended to kill Love.

In January, prosecutors added five more charges in Huguely’s case, including felony murder and charges related to robbery and burglary. The felony murder charge is an accusation of a killing committed when a suspect committed or attempted to commit another felony.

Police have said Huguely told them he took a computer from her apartment and then dumped it in a trash container on the night of Love’s death. Police later found the computer in the container.

According to police, Huguely and Love had e-mailed each other in the days before their final argument. In court filings, police said they were attempting to determine what was contained in those e-mails and in text messages from Huguely that he sent to Love or that mentioned her.

Huguely’s defense team has been headed by Francis McQ. Lawrence from the Charlottesville firm of St. John, Bowling, Lawrence & Quagliana.

The lead prosecutor is Warner D. “Dave” Chapman, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Charlottesville.

By  |  12:15 PM ET, 04/11/2011

Categories:  From the Courthouse, Homicide, Mary Pat Flaherty, Schools, Virginia

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