“We were just eating, just casually drinking, talking,” Caitlin Whiteley, Love’s roommate and teammate, said on the stand. “We were talking about plans for the summer.”
Now, with Huguely, 24, on trial for murder, the place buzzes with talk of the case, and Huguely’s and Love’s faces flash on flatscreen televisions as the nightly news soundlessly delivers the latest developments.
The preppy sports bar might seem like an institution to undergraduates who cycle through town every four years, but the place has been open just over three years. Boylan Heights is named for a neighborhood in Raleigh, N.C., (along with a 1980s album by the Connells, a Raleigh-based pop-rock band) and has an academic-themed menu that labels appetizers as “registration” and desserts as “extra credit.” You can order “The Valedictorian,” a vegan burger made from brown rice, carrots and pecans — or create your own using a No. 2 pencil and SAT-style bubble sheet. And then there are the only-in-a-college-town drink specials, such as $3 pitchers on Sundays.
When 22-year-old Love was found dead and Huguely was arrested on May 3, 2010, their circle of teammates and friends was forced to do something rarely asked of college students: Document with legal precision everything that happened that weekend, including who slept at whose apartment, who drank with whom, who got what text messages and who noticed that Huguely had yet again become wasted on what they called “Sunday Funday.”
Many of those friends took the stand this month, sometimes with their parents sitting in the courtroom, to say those things out loud. In that sometimes embarrassing testimony, Boylan Heights was frequently the backdrop.
One of the women who testified had spent time with Huguely late on a Tuesday night, just days before Love died. She was asked about that night by Commonwealth’s Attorney Warner “Dave” Chapman.
“I saw him at Boylan Heights and then saw him at my house,” she said. “He called and said he was coming over.”
Chapman asked if Huguely described what had happened earlier that night. Others had testified that Love stormed into Huguely’s apartment, yelled at him for seeing and texting other women, and hit him with her purse. “He did not.”