George Huguely’s police interview in Yeardley Love investigation
By Mary Pat Flaherty and Jenna Johnson,
By about 2:30 a.m., Charlottesville police were investigating and before 8 a.m., Love’s ex-boyfriend, George Huguely V, of Chevy Chase, was being questioned by two detectives.
Huguely, now 24, was convicted in February of second-degree murder in the death of Love.
Love, who was from the Baltimore suburb of Cockeysville, was a senior at the University of Virginia and a varsity lacrosse player, as was Huguely. He remains jailed in Charlottesville and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 30 by a judge who could accept or reduce the 26-year term jurors handed up.
At his trial, jurors were shown Huguely’s taped police interview on a monitor turned away from spectators in the courtroom, who could hear what was said.
In it, Huguely described why he went to see Love and their final argument.
On Tuesday, the tape and some other exhibits entered during the trial were made available for viewing at Charlottesville Circuit Court but could not be recorded or rebroadcast under terms set by the judge in Huguely’s case. The evidence is set to be shown again Wednesday.
The exchanges below, excerpted from Huguely’s interview, are based on notes taken by reporters for The Washington Post as the video was played Tuesday and the audio was heard at trial. Any quotes are accurate to the best of our ability. This account is not a transcript, and an official transcript was not released by the court or Huguely’s defense.
Charlottesville detectives begin at 7:52 a.m. by reading Huguely his Miranda rights and asking some routine questions. They ask about his day on Sunday, May, 2, 2010, and he said he played golf, went to dinner with his father and then went home and “drank a few beers.”
Huguely: “Then I went over to talk to Yeardley . . . . Yeardley is my former girlfriend . . . . She was like already totally freaked out . . . . I was just going to talk to her . . . . She started getting all like really defensive . . . week before she flew into my apartment ... she came in all screaming at me . . . she attacked me and she was screaming at me . . . when I went over to see her to talk with her she was already on the defensive edge.
She was throwing me against the wall . . .
She said go away . . . . I’m just here to talk to you . . . . She got all . . . we were sitting there talking . . . she was getting all like aggressive . . . then I was like Yeardley chill out. I shook her a little bit and she started freaking out.”
A detective asks Huguely if he hit Love’s head against the wall.
Huguely: “No, no. She was was hitting her head . . . . I said Yeardley stop . . . . She was all freaking out just over seeing me . . . . She kept hitting her head against the wall, I shook her . . . . I never struck her. I mean I never hit her in the face or anything.”
(During this exchange, Huguely leaned against the concrete wall and knocks his head against it, showing detectives what he said Yeardley was doing)
Huguely told detectives he pushed Love onto her bed.
Huguely: “She was flopping. Like a fish out of water .… I’m not here to fight with you.. I’m not here to hurt you, I’m here to talk with you...”
A detective asks for more details.
Huguely: “Her nose was bleeding a little bit when she was still in her bed.”
Huguely said that at one point he and Love “might have been” on the floor.
Huguely: “I was a little bit persistent because of the situation . . . . I never struck her or anything. I was holding her on the floor . . . . I was holding her. Not forcibly.”
A detective asks Huguely whether he hit Love while they were on ground.
Huguely: “No. Her face was on the ground ... and the conversation was not going anywhere . . . nothing was happening . . . . She went back to bed, and I left and went back home.”
A detective asked about why Huguely wanted to talk to Love. He tells them that Love had recently broken up with him “slowly over a period of time.” He said she had had sex with another man. He also said she had come to his apartment when two prospective female students were visiting, got angry and began to hit him in the face.
A detective asked again about the sequence of events the last time he saw Love.
Detective: “How’d you get in her door?”
Huguely: “Yeah. Knock knock, open the door Yeardley.
Huguely: “Actually, it might have been locked . . . . I think I put a hole in the door. I think I broke the door . . . . pretty sure actually . . . . I wanted to talk to her.”
Huguely tells the detectives more about his previous arguments with Love. At some point, a detective asks if he was angry the night of May 2 when he went to see her.
Huguely: “I was more emotional than I would say angry. She was saying stuff like, oh ‘I don’t trust you’ . . . . she pushed me. “Get out of here. Go. Go.” I was like holding her arms, her shoulders . . . . I never struck her . . . . She was defensive like . . . . We wrestled on the ground. Her nose starting bleeding. (Huguely demonstrates how he held Love, his arms wrapped around her.)
Detective: “Did you touch her neck area at all .... Did you choke her?”
Huguely: “I may have grabbed her a little bit by the neck .... But I never strangled her .... During whole commotion it was never like strangling her.” (Huguely, again demonstrating for police, clasps his hands around his neck.)
Huguely is again asked about the timeline that evening. A detective asks how long he was at Love’s apartment.
Huguely: “Eight minutes to 10 minutes.”
Detective: “Did you take anything with you?”
Detective: “Her laptop is missing,” a detective said, and asks if Huguely took it.
Huguely: “Yeah, I did actually.”
Huguely: “Because I was so pissed that she wouldn’t talk to me .... I took it almost as collateral, I guess . . . . It’s not reasonable logic.”
Detective: Asking about Huguely’s response to Love’s bleeding, said “Did you try to call rescue or anything else to make sure she was all right?”
Huguely: “No, I did not.”
Huguely: “I didn’t think she was like in need of going to the emergency room . . . . She hit her own head.”
Huguely is asked more about his contact with Love the night of May 2, the e-mail messages he and Love exchanged and bruises on his leg that he said were a result of playing lacrosse. He is asked how much he drank on that Sunday, what he wore and what happened to Love’s laptop. Huguely said he drank 14 drinks that day, including beer at the golf course, wine at dinner and beer later that evening. He said he threw the laptop in a dumpster.
Huguely and the detectives also discussed a February incident in which a lacrosse player from another school, who testified at trial, said he found Huguely with a chokehold on Love during a party.
Huguely: “That night I was more drunk that I’ve probably ever been .… I actually laid on her, and like held her, detained her kind of.
Detectives pressed him on the February incident.
Huguely: “I don’t think I choked her. She never said I choked her. She said I laid on her and held her.”
At that point Huguely repeats his belief that he had been brought in for questioning about an assault on Love. “I’m in here for assault charges .... Someone said I’m here for an assault investigation,” he said.
Detective: “Ever threaten her?”
D etective asks about the e-mails the two exchanged.
Huguely: “You can read all the e-mails . . . . Nothing nothing like that . . . some e-mails are on her computer, some on mine.”
Detective suggests Huguely took Love’s computer to hide the e-mails.
Huguely: “I have no idea why I took the computer . . . . Probably because she was not talking to me and she like did all this stuff.”
After more questions about Love and Hugely’s argument at his apartment a few days earlier, Huguely is asked about kicking in Love’s bedroom door. A detective suggests alcohol fueled his emotions and actions.
Huguely: “That may have made me rationalize kicking in the door to open it up, but it was all to talk to her . . . . I should not have gone over there when I was drinking . . . . We were wrestling on the ground for a little while . . . her nose started bleeding . . . she was not screaming . . . She should have been, probably, when I first came into the room.
Detective: “At any point did she lose consciousness?”
Huguely: “No. I literally tossed her on the bed and walked out the door and left.”
Finally, a detective tells Huguely that Love is dead.
Detective: “I have to tell you something. She’s dead. You killed her.”
About a 10-second pause.
Huguely: “She’s dead?”
Detective: “You know.”
Huguely: “She’s dead? No I do not know how the f--- is she dead? How the f--- is she dead?” (Huguely by this point is whimpering. He buries his face in his hands, then takes his hands to his head and clenches fists of hair.)
Detective: “You killed her.”
Huguely: “She’s dead? She’s dead? She’s dead? How? How is she dead?. . .”
Detectives: “I just told you how.”
Huguely: “I didn’t f---ing hit her .… How in the f--- is she dead .... How in the f--- is she dead. Oh my God” (At some point he knocks his forehead on the table.)
Detective: “That’s why you took the computer because you had a threat to kill her on it.”
Huguely: “She’s not dead. She’s not dead. She’s not dead. She’s not dead. She’s not dead . . . . I want to see. I want to see her. I didn’t hurt her. I didn’t hurt her. I didn’t hurt her. I didn’t hurt her. I didn’t hurt her. I didn’t hurt her . . . . You guys said she had a black eye and a bump on her head.”
Huguely: “I don’t believe you .… I didn’t. I didn’t. I didn’t. I didn’t hurt her . . . . I don’t believe that she is dead. I don’t believe that she is dead. I don’t believe that she is dead . . .
Detective: “Let’s like calm down.”
Huguely: “I don’t believe you. There’s no way she’s dead. I never did anything that could do that to her .… Tell me she’s not dead ...”
Detective: “I can’t tell you that.” (Police handcuff Huguely.)
Huguely: “Oh my God, kill me .... Tell me she’s not dead, please sir. I did not do anything that could kill her.”
Detective: “You realize you are under arrest?”
Huguely: “There’s no way. There is no way she is dead . . . . Everything I said to you was so true . . . . I’m not lying to you about anything. . . .There’s no way. there’s no way. There’s no way she could be dead .... You said murder charges? I didn’t murder her, I didn’t .... Sir I’m telling you there is no way .... How is she dead, how? what did she die from?
Detective: “Head trauma or asphyxia.”
Huguely: “She has to be alive. She has to be. She has to be. She has to be. There is no way. . . .Last I saw her she was standing up, looking at me.”
Detective: “Why did you kill her?”
Huguely: I did not kill her. I did not kill her. I did not kill her. I did not kill her. I did not kill her. I did not kill her. I still do not believe it. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it.”
Detective: “Now is the time to man up, George,” and say what happened.
Huguely: Stomping his foot at each sentence, “I told you what happened. I told you what happened. I told you what happened. There is no way.” (He puts his face on the table in the interview room as the video freezes and ends.”
Read more from The Washington Post: A divisive close for Virginia assembly Md. tax increases on the brink of passing McDuffie wins Ward 5 D.C. Council seat Archbishop calls Georgetown invitation ‘shocking’