Grand jury indicts George Huguely, ex-U-Va. lacrosse player, on 6 counts in Yeardley Love death

Former University of Virginia lacrosse player George W. Huguely V was indicted Monday by a grand jury on six charges, including first-degree murder, in the death of his former girlfriend Yeardley Love.

The grand jury said Huguely, of Chevy Chase, should stand trial in the death of fellow lacrosse player Love, 22, of Cockeysville, Md. The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 6 in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

Huguely, 23, will stand trial on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, robbery of a residence, burglary, entering a house with intent to commit a felony and grand larceny in Love’s May 3 death.

The murder charges are punishable by life in prison. Huguely was not indicted on a capital charge.

Huguely has been jailed in Charlottesville since his arrest, which took place hours after a roommate of Love’s found her body. Love’s head was face down on a pillow in a pool of blood, testimony at a preliminary hearing April 11 showed.

Love died of blunt force trauma to the head in a homicide, the state medical examiner has ruled.

In previous court filings, police and prosecutors have said that Huguely admitted seeing Love bleeding after her head hit a wall during an argument.

Huguely’s attorneys have said Love’s death was “an accident with a tragic outcome” but not an intentional criminal act.

Huguely learned Love was dead only after police told him during his videotaped interrogation, his attorney, Francis McQ. Lawrence, said during the preliminary hearing.

During that hearing, several witnesses who saw Huguely on the day Love died said he began drinking before 9 a.m., continued drinking throughout the day and appeared drunk when they saw him.

Love and Huguely were seniors at the time of her death. Love had recently broken off their relationship, according to court filings based on police accounts.

She and Huguely had argued in the days before her death over whether Huguely was dating another woman, according to two witnesses at the preliminary hearing. Love also showed her roommate Caitlin Whiteley e-mail messages from Huguely sent during that period, Whitely testified April 11.

In December, police filed a a search warrant for the cellphone Huguely had with him at the time of his arrest. They were seeking e-mails and text messages Huguely had sent to Love or that mentioned her. Police and prosecutors have not disclosed whether they found the messages.

The first-degree murder charge obliges prosecutors to prove that Huguely intended to kill Love when, as police said he told them, he kicked down her door early on May 3. That was the sole charge against Huguely until January, when the felony murder charge and charges related to robbery were added.

Police have said that on the night of Love’s death, Huguely told them that he took a computer from her apartment and dumped it in a trash container. Police later found one there.

He also said that he and Love had e-mailed each other in the days before their final argument, according to police.

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.
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