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Yeardley Love, George Huguely fought days before her death, court papers show

By Steve Yanda
Thursday, August 19, 2010; B01

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love was so angry at George Huguely V in the days before she was killed that she hit him with her purse, spilling its contents all over the floor, according to court documents released Wednesday.

Love left Huguely's off-campus apartment without some items from the thrown purse, including her cellphone. That forced the one-time couple to communicate using e-mail, the documents say. Love showed a teammate an e-mail from Huguely, the court papers say. The contents of the e-mail were redacted from the papers, but a source who spoke to that teammate said the e-mail, viewed April 30, was described as threatening.

Huguely, 22, of Chevy Chase, who also played lacrosse at U-Va., is charged with first-degree murder in Love's death on May 3. Police allege that Huguely banged Love's head against the wall of her room during an altercation. The pair had been a couple but were broken up at the time of the slaying, police have said.

The court documents -- affidavits in support of search warrants -- were released by the Charlottesville Circuit Court on Wednesday as part of an earlier agreement with news organizations. The documents were partially redacted and indicate what police found in the searches of two Apple laptop computers that were seized from Huguely's bedroom the day Love was killed.

According to the affidavits, a witness told police on May 4 that Love, 22, had told her about an e-mail Huguely sent the previous week. The witness, who was not identified in the court papers, told police that she may have seen the e-mail while she and Love were in the Chicago area. Their lacrosse team played at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., on April 30.

Aboard the team bus to the game, Love retrieved a threatening e-mail Huguely had sent her and showed it to surrounding teammates, according to a source close to some of the lacrosse players who saw the e-mail.

After a fight at Love's off-campus apartment the night she was killed, Huguely took Love's personal computer, according to court papers released earlier in the investigation. Huguely said he threw Love's computer into a dumpster after leaving Love's room that night.

Two Charlottesville detectives recovered the computer shortly after the interview with Huguely from a dumpster on Sadler Street, according to the affidavit released Wednesday. The computer's serial number matched records of a computer sold to Love that were provided to police by the computer's manufacturer, Dell.

During a forensic search of Love's computer, police discovered fragments of an e-mail with a statement that was redacted in the affidavit. A fragmented e-mail is "a partial portion of an email that has been retrieved from the deleted files of a computer that was previously sent or received," according to the affidavit.

Police think that the e-mail was sent in response to Huguely's e-mail. Two other witnesses independently told police of the e-mail exchange between Huguely and Love, the court papers say.

Witnesses also told police that Love lost her cellphone and a camera after an argument with Huguely at his apartment in the days before her slaying. A friend of Love's told police that she witnessed an altercation between Love and Huguely "a few days before Love's death," according to the affidavit.

"She stated that Love and Huguely were arguing and Love hit Huguely with her purse," the affidavit stated. The witness, whose name was redacted, "stated that when Love's purse hit Huguely all her stuff flew out of her purse."

The witness helped Love collect her belongings and leave Huguely's apartment. Love later told the unnamed witness that she was missing her camera and cellphone and that she thought the items had been left at Huguely's apartment, according to the affidavit.

The witness said Love asked her to go to Huguely's apartment and get the items, which the unnamed witness tried to do. The affidavit said the witness found the camera, but not the cellphone.

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