By Steve Yanda
Monday, December 13, 2010; 9:21 AM
There is a "growing consensus" that the murder charges against George Huguely V, the former Virginia men's lacrosse player charged with killing Yeardley Love, his former girlfriend and a member of the school's women's lacrosse team, will be settled in a plea agreement prior to trial, according to reports.
Prosecutors do not plan to seek the death penalty against Huguely, 23, who is charged with killing Love, at her off-campus Charlottesville apartment in May, according to a report in The Washington Examiner.
The Examiner's report cited Charlottesville police spokesman Gary Pleasants and other unnamed sources. Huguely's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 21.
Huguely has been charged with first-degree murder, the penalty for which can range from 20 years to life in prison.
"Capital murder is not even a consideration right now," Pleasants said, according to the Examiner.
Huguely has admitted to police that he fought with Love, 22, at her apartment May 3, shaking her as her head repeatedly slammed against a wall. He also told police he stole Love's computer and later tossed it in a nearby dumpster. Police arrested Huguely hours after the confrontation.
Huguely and Love had a contentious, on-again, off-again relationship that included several instances of Huguely physically accosting Love. In the days leading up to Love's death, the two had exchanged several e-mails, according to search warrant returns, some of which contained threats made by Huguely to Love.
Court documents released last week state that police intend to search Huguely's cell phone for e-mails and text messages that may have been sent to Love in the days leading up to her death.
Huguely has remained in a single-inmate cell at the Albermarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail for the past seven months. He likely will remain in such a living environment at least until his January court hearing.