By Steve Yanda, Daniel de Vise and Jenna Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 5, 2010; A01
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- This is how police say the story ended: George Huguely kicked through Yeardley Love's bedroom door early Monday. They fought. He grabbed her and shook her, slamming her head repeatedly into the wall. He seized her computer, the one on which she'd read his angry e-mails. Then he left her lying facedown on a pillow that would soon be soaked with her blood.
The details that emerged Tuesday -- from friends, relatives, fellow students and Huguely's account of the attack, described in a police affidavit -- reveal that the two lacrosse players in the University of Virginia murder case seem as different as his grizzled mug shot and her radiant class picture.
Love, friends and a relative said, was a caring soul who became romantically involved with Huguely, a young man with a temper and at least one alcohol-fueled episode of violence with a police officer. He received a suspended sentence after a drunken scuffle with a female Virginia police officer in November 2008.
"She had a great future," said Granville Swope, Love's uncle. "And this guy has robbed her."
In the beginning, they must have seemed twin souls: children of privilege from the lacrosse fields of affluent suburbia, on the verge of graduating from the public Ivy in Charlottesville.
Huguely and Love, both 22, had dated for many months when Love called it off in recent weeks, according to several people close to her. But for Huguely, it was not over.
Early Monday, Huguely arrived at Love's apartment, according to a police affidavit filed in support of a search warrant. The front door wasn't locked, but apparently her bedroom door was. He forced it open, kicking it with his right foot. Police said they found hairs in the hole he left in the door.
Roommates who found Love shortly after 2 a.m. thought she might be passed out from drinking and called police. But police found Love dead, facedown in a pool of blood on her pillow. The police documents said she had a bruised face, a swollen eye and scrapes on her chin.
Officers picked up Huguely at his apartment nearby within a few hours, and after waiving his rights, according to the police affidavit, he told detectives that the couple had been "involved in an altercation" in which "he shook Love and her head repeatedly hit the wall," according to the affidavit. Huguely admitted taking Love's computer and discarding it. Police have recovered it and are searching it, according to Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo, to determine whether any of Huguely's final e-mails threatened his former girlfriend's life.
Longo also said police are investigating witness reports that Huguely was seen drinking throughout the day Sunday.
Huguely's attorney did not dispute Huguely's late-night visit to Love but told reporters that he did not intend to kill her.
"We are confident that Ms. Love's death was not intended but an accident with a tragic outcome," said Charlottesville lawyer Francis McQ. Lawrence, who represented Huguely on Tuesday at a scheduled bond hearing, which was delayed. Lawrence said Tuesday, on what would have been Huguely's last day of classes, that he would withdraw from school.
On the Charlottesville campus, students pleaded for time to absorb the ghastly crime, and the charge that it was committed by one of their own. On Tuesday night, student leaders living in coveted rooms along the campus Lawn set out about five dozen small votive candles in memory of Love but declined to talk publicly about their action.
The student council will hold a campuswide candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Wednesday. President John Casteen will speak at the event.
For the university's tight-knit community of athletes, the attack hit particularly close.
"We all hang out at the same spots," said Aaron Clark, a former football team linebacker who knew Huguely and Love. "This situation hits everybody. It's not just the lacrosse team. . . . We all talk, we all hang out. It's just so gut-wrenching to know that people you know and have hung out with and are acquaintances with can have this happen."
Love's sister and mother arrived here Monday and attended a meeting of the women's lacrosse team, its coaching staff, parents and friends. University officials said the family was not ready to speak publicly about Love's death. A moment of silence was held at 6 p.m. at a baseball game against Virginia Commonwealth University, the first such public gesture since the slaying.
Not far away is a large memorial to Morgan Harrington -- a jumble of signs, flowers and stuffed animals in memory of the Virginia Tech student last seen after a concert at U-Va.'s John Paul Jones arena last year. Besides the votive candles on the Lawn, there was no obvious public memorial to Love, but there was a Facebook page dedicated to her memory. It went up Monday night and had more than 19,514 members.
Love was the daughter of an investor, raised on an estate in a suburb north of Baltimore, educated at the private Notre Dame Prep, a girls' school. She played field hockey and lacrosse, volunteered at a soup kitchen and counseled in a summer camp program for kids from housing projects. She was also a bit of a math nerd.
Her father, John Love, died of prostate cancer in 2003, Love's sophomore year in high school, leaving Yeardley (pronounced "Yardley"), her older sister, Lexie, and mother Sharon. Love and her classmates attended the funeral in their school uniforms and saddle shoes.
"She handled everything so graciously and was so strong throughout," said Casey Donohoe, a longtime friend.
Concetta Davis, a neighbor, said she remembered the celebration on the day Love learned she was admitted to U-Va. She said she is in disbelief about the recent turn of events. "If I had a daughter in college today, I would be sick," she said.
George Huguely V came from a monied Chevy Chase family that co-founded the Galliher & Huguely lumberyard in the District nearly a century ago, according to the company's Web site. He was educated at the exclusive all-boys Landon School in Bethesda. He was starting quarterback and a lacrosse all-American. His mother, Marta, was a part-time model for Saks Fifth Avenue. His parents divorced, and his mother remarried.
Some on the U-Va. campus called Huguely quiet. "He was just sort of this quiet, sweet kid," said Wende Marshall, an assistant anthropology professor.
Love and Huguely were well-known at U-Va., whose champion lacrosse teams receive a measure of respect more commonly reserved for football players. (The men's and women's lacrosse teams plan to continue their seasons.) They traveled in hard-partying Greek circles, friends said, but had broken up as the end of their senior year approached.
Sometimes, Huguely partied too hard.
On the night of his scuffle with a female officer in Lexington, Va., the officer found Huguely stumbling into traffic. He told her that he was in town to visit some friends at a fraternity party. Officer R.L. Moff said that she asked whether anyone could pick him up so that he could avoid going to jail.
"He said: 'I'll kill you. I'll kill all of y'all. I'm not going to jail,' " Moff recalled. She said his diatribe was laced with racial, sexual and other vulgar terms.
Moff said Huguely became combative and fought with her for "three or four minutes." She said that she used a Taser but that it made him angrier. "He became a lot more aggressive," she said, before she was able to wrestle him into handcuffs.
Moff said Huguely continued to use expletives as she walked him to her patrol car. In court that night, she said, he did not recall that he had been Tasered or that his arresting officer had been a woman.
Huguely pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, public swearing and public intoxication. He received a 60-day suspended sentence, six months' supervised probation and a fine, according to court records. He was ordered to complete 50 hours of community service and 20 hours of substance abuse education, which he finished in July, the records show. According to a Rockbridge County court clerk, he completed all of the requirements.
Johnson reported from Charlottesville. Staff writers Zach Berman, Mary Pat Flaherty, Hamil R. Harris, T. Rees Shapiro and Mark Viera contributed to this report.