If she could have moved, Commonwealth’s Attorney Warner “Dave” Chapman asked, why wouldn’t she “have crawled to get help”? If she could have moved, why wouldn’t she have stopped Huguely from taking her laptop as he left?
If she could have moved, why wouldn’t Love have lifted her head off that bloody pillow, where a roommate found her facedown early May 3, 2010, about two hours after Huguely had left?
After two weeks of the murder trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys circled back to their original portrayals of Huguely, 24, of Chevy Chase. To Chapman, he remains a killer and a controlling, abusive and spurned lover. To the defense team, he was a “stupid drunk” and “boy athlete” who made terrible choices but took no lethal actions.
Huguely pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and five other charges before the jury was seated. He did not take the stand, and jurors heard from him only through statements he made to police on the morning of his arrest, which were videotaped and played in court.
Huguely and Love, 22, of Cockeysville, Md., had dated over two years at the University of Virginia, where they played lacrosse and were weeks from graduation when she died. The Virginia medical examiner ruled that she died of blunt force trauma to her head.
There is no dispute that Huguely came to Love’s off-campus apartment late the night of May 2, 2010. And no one disputes that he kicked through her door or that he and Love fought.
Jurors must decide what Huguely did during that fight and whether his actions amount to a crime. On Saturday evening, the judge sent them home and said deliberations would begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, after the long holiday weekend and the Charlottesville court’s Tuesday grand jury session, which will take over the sole courtroom.
In his final appeal to jurors, defense attorney Francis McQ. Lawrence urged them to reject the murder charge and consider a lesser crime. “George bears responsibility in her death. . . .
He played a role in that, and he will take responsibility for it in a way you determine,” Lawrence said.
‘Where’s the intent?’
But, Lawrence asked, “where’s the intent to kill?” — a key element of first-degree premeditated murder, which can carry a sentence of life in prison. “He didn’t kill her. He left her there alive.”
Lawrence asked jurors to weigh involuntary manslaughter when he addressed them at the start of the trial. That charge covers an unintentional killing attributable to the defendant’s negligence and has a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Huguely also pleaded not guilty to murder in the commission of a robbery, burglary, breaking and entering and grand larceny.