Love’s injuries came from various impacts, medical examiner tells Huguely jury

Bruises and cuts on Yeardley Love’s body cannot be explained by a single fall or impact, the medical examiner who conducted her autopsy testified Monday.

William T. Gormley, a Virginia assistant chief medical examiner, also said that Love did not bleed from her nose, as George Huguely V recounted to police in a videotaped interview, but did have a cut inside her upper lip that could explain the blood Huguely recalled.

Gormley testified as prosecutors continued to lay out evidence they say connects Huguely to Love’s May 2010 death, calling a series of Charlottesville police officers who collected T-shirts, cargo shorts, a shower curtain and DNA samples from inside Huguely’s mouth and beneath his fingernails.

Huguely, 24, of Chevy Chase, has pleaded not guilty to murder and five other charges in the death of Love, his on-off girlfriend. Like Huguely, Love was a senior at University of Virginia and a lacrosse player. A roommate found her body May 3, 2010, face down in blood in her bed. Love, of Cockeysville, Md., was 22.

Under questioning by Huguely’s attorney, Gormley agreed that injuries to the right side of Love’s head, right eye and chin could have been suffered in one incident close to the time of her death, such as a fall. But Gormley said he couldn’t say what had caused the damage and told attorney Rhonda Quagliana that no one impact could explain the other injuries, including small oval bruises on her chest, bruises to a buttock, calf and knee, and a pair of “major bruises” on her forearm.

In his police statement aired in court, Huguely said he had shaken Love “a little bit” and “may have grabbed her a little bit around the neck.” But he said he had not strangled her or hit her in the face on the night he went to talk to her about their jeal­ousy-tinged arguments.

When he left her, Huguely said on the tape, he thought she was bleeding from her nose, but not so badly that he needed to call for medical help.

Gormley is expected to return to the stand Tuesday and has not told jurors his conclusion about what caused Love’s death. Previous hearings revealed that he ruled that she died from blunt force trauma to her head.

Huguely’s attorneys have called Love’s death a tragic accident and indicated their case will include testimony that Love could have died from an irregular heartbeat brought on by the drug Adderall, which she was prescribed for an attention disorder.

Jurors on Monday also were asked to read what was described as an “e-mail exchange” that appeared to be about four pages long. Although those e-mails have not been read aloud in court, last week prosecutors and the defense team referred to a series of angry e-mails the couple exchanged days before Love’s death that included a line from Huguely that said, “I should have killed you,” after finding out about a sexual encounter Love had with another man.

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.
Jenna Johnson writes about Maryland politics, including the General Assembly, the administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley and the 2014 election.
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