CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WJZ)– The prosecution rests in the case against George Huguely, who is accused of killing Cockeysville native Yeardley Love. They ended with riveting testimony from Huguely’s former lacrosse teammates, and a woman claiming Huguely wanted sex the night Love died.
Adam May has more from the courtroom in Charlottesville, Va.
It was uncomfortable in that courtroom when those University of Virginia lacrosse players took the stand. Many of them had been Huguely’s friends for years and had not seen him since the night Yeardley Love died. Most avoided eye contact with him expect one.
One by one the former teammates from the University of Virginia’s 2010 lacrosse team took the stand to testify against their old friend, George Huguely. They told jurors the Chevy Chase native was drunk, spilling wine, stumbling, even urinating in public in the hours before his ex-girlfriend, Cockeysville native Yeardley Love, was found dead, beaten to death inside her off-campus apartment just weeks before graduation.
Player Kenneth Clausen gave Huguely a cold stare in court before testifying Yeardley Love was one of his best friends. Clausen said Huguely “seemed strange” and had a “change of demeanor” after visiting Love’s apartment.
Clausen said: “I asked him what’s wrong. Huguely replied, ‘Nothing’s wrong.’ I asked two more times and I got no response.”
The lacrosse players also told jurors they caught Huguely lying about his whereabouts the night of the killing. Later, Huguely walked into the bathroom, still visibly drunk and stripped down to his boxer shorts before disappearing into his room for the night.
May: “You would say a strong finish [for the prosecution]?”
Legal Expert Scott Goodman: “I think a very strong finish. The Commonwealth is aware the defense is going to say he was so drunk he didn’t know what he was doing. But the very fact was was he aware he was involved in a homicide and lie to his roommates about what had taken place? That’s the evidence the Commonwealth will hammer home in closing arguments.”
A few other female students were also called to testify that they received calls and texts from Huguely that night. The flirtatious notes were not read aloud in court.
Prosecutors seem to imply Huguely was looking for either a hookup or an alibi as Love lay in her bed dying from blunt force trauma injuries to her brain.
Defense attorneys have started calling their own witnesses to the stand. They started with a medical expert who testified that Love was so intoxicated, she could have had balance problems. This plays right into their theory that Love’s death was accidental. If they’re successful, Huguely could be convicted of manslaughter instead of first-degree murder.
The sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison while the sentence for manslaughter could be 10 years in prison, or less.
The defense will continue calling witnesses on Thursday.
Stay with WJZ as this murder trial continues. We’ll bring you the very latest from the courtroom on air and online.