Huguely’s attorney Francis McQ. Lawrence told jurors that Huguely left that night believing that Love had not been badly hurt and that when a detective later told him he’d killed Love, he repeated: “I didn’t, I didn’t, I did not.”
“No way anything I did last night could have killed her,” Huguely told police in a videotaped interview, Lawrence said.
Huguely, 24, of Chevy Chase, and Love, 22, of Cockeysville, Md., played for the nationally ranked lacrosse teams at U-Va. and dated over two years. The two divergent accounts of what happened between them during that final argument came on the first day of Huguely’s murder trial, which has drawn national attention.
Huguely has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and five other charges, including the theft of Love’s laptop. Huguely took the computer, Lawrence said in his opening statement, but it was an “impulsive” act intended to goad Love into calling him the next morning.
To prove first-degree murder, which can carry a life sentence, the prosecution must show that Huguely intended to kill Love, although under the law no specific amount of time is required to form that intention.
Huguely’s lawyers said in opening statements that he never planned or wanted to hurt Love. The lesser crime of involuntary manslaughter, Lawrence said in his opening statement, “should be the only verdict you carefully” weigh.
Eight witnesses testified as the trial opened Wednesday, led by Love’s mother, Sharon, and her older sister, Lexie, who took the stand on her 28th birthday to describe the call when she learned that Yeardley was dead and the trip back to their suburban Baltimore home, trailing Yeardley’s car loaded with her music, her clothes and her lacrosse gear.
An officer who was the first police official at Love’s apartment and a downstairs neighbor who said she heard a scuffle shortly before midnight and saw a tall, “stocky” man leaving shortly afterward were among those testifying about the night of Love’s death.
Emotional moments came during the testimony of Love’s roommate Caitlin Whiteley, who found Love on her bed. Love had opted not to go out that night with Whiteley and friends.
When Whiteley returned, she went to Love’s room, tried to wake her, pushed aside Love’s hair, and saw blood and Love’s right eye, which she testified “just was messed up.”