Huguely knew Love was injured, police records indicate

Blood began flowing from the nose of a University of Virginia women's lacrosse player during the fight with her accused killer before he pushed her onto a bed and left her apartment, according to search warrants unsealed Thursday. (July 8)
By Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 9, 2010

University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V told police that he "saw blood coming from Yeardley Love's nose" as he banged his ex-girlfriend's head against a wall during the May 3 assault that led to her death and that he then pushed her back onto her bed and left, walking out through the door he had kicked in to get to her.

Huguely's admission that he knew Love was injured surfaced in previously sealed police records that were released Thursday after court challenges by The Washington Post and three other media outlets.

Within hours of the attack, a roommate found Love unresponsive and facedown on her bloody pillow, police records show. Love, 22, of Cockeysville, Md., was also a U-Va. lacrosse player. She died of blunt-force trauma to the head, the Virginia state medical examiner said Wednesday in officially ruling her death a homicide.

Huguely, 22, of Chevy Chase remains jailed without bond on a murder charge in Charlottesville, awaiting an October hearing. After his lone court appearance in May following his arrest, his attorney, Francis McQ. Lawrence, said: "We are confident that Ms. Love's death was not intended but an accident with a tragic outcome."

Lawrence and his partner on the case did not respond to interview requests Thursday.

Information in the newly released documents adds details to the portrait of a couple who had once dated but were battling in the final days of their senior year.

The records also show that Charlottesville detectives were not immediately able to locate a T-shirt Love was believed to have been wearing during the assault.

Huguely told police that he had exchanged e-mails with Love before going to her home and breaking down her bedroom door, police told a judge in seeking a search warrant of his and Love's apartments.

Huguely told police that he took Love's computer from her apartment, and he told them where to find it. It was not clear from the information in warrants where that computer was found. Two computers later were found during a search of Huguely's apartment, but police said in a court record that "no property belonging to Love was recovered during the search of Huguely's apartment."

Police also removed two cellphones from Love's residence and one from Huguely's vehicle. In a July 1 court proceeding over releasing the records to the media, police testified that Huguely also had a cellphone when he was arrested and that they had questioned him about whom he had called after leaving Love's apartment.

Records of cellphone calls and e-mails remain sealed.

Huguely was carrying a passport in the shorts he said he had worn during the assault, according to the search warrants filed in Charlottesville Circuit Court. At the police station within hours of Love's death, DNA samples were taken from Huguely, who was wearing Nike shorts and a police logo T-shirt, a record of the search of Huguely shows.

Inside the Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Huguely and registered to his father, George Huguely IV, police found handwritten notes, a digital camera and a flip phone, according to a list of what was removed during that search. A letter addressed to Love also was found in Huguely's apartment, although the contents of the letters and notes were not detailed. A note was taken from a desk drawer at Love's apartment.

Police said Huguely told them that Love was wearing a black T-shirt and underwear and that she had both on when he left. The roommates who found Love told police that she was not wearing the shirt when they entered, and she did not have it on when emergency responders arrived, the police records show.

Photos from the crime scene, police said, showed a black shirt on the bedroom floor near where Love was found, but when police again searched Love's apartment May 7, they did not find it. They did not remove any items that day.

The numbered lists of items removed during the searches of the apartments include pieces common to any college setting: a spiral notebook, cargo shorts, flip-flops (from Huguely), and a purse, wristband and backpack (from Love). But those lists also hint at the violence police allege: a white U-Va. lacrosse shirt "w/red stain" at Huguely's apartment, and at Love's, a "swab from wall stain," a comforter, towel and pillowcase all "w/red stains" and "door to victim's bedroom."

The records unsealed Thursday were opened after challenges by The Post, Charlottesville Daily Progress, Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Associated Press. The organizations argued July 1 that court orders that sealed the search warrants and items found should be voided.

The commonwealth's attorney for Charlottesville and local police argued that the temporary sealing of the records provided for under Virginia law should continue because disclosure of information could prejudice potential jurors.

The media outlets countered that the temporary seal no longer applied because Huguely was jailed and was the lone suspect, as police testimony affirmed.

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