Reporting Adam May
CHARLOTTTESVILLE, Va. (WJZ)– The final words. Prosecution and defense lawyers in the murder trial of George Huguely addressed the jury for the last time Saturday. The Maryland man is accused in his girlfriend’s death at the University of Virginia. Saturday, there were tears and a tough final defense witness– an expert who insists Yeardley Love was not beaten to death.
Adam May spoke with that expert and has the latest on the case.
There was a lot of new information in court Saturday. The prosecutor broke down in tears as he addressed jurors trying to explain what it was like for Yeardley Love in the final minutes of her life. Meanwhile, George Huguely sat at the defense table and appeared a little nervous as he watched the proceedings.
Huguely wiped his face, repeatedly sipped water and fidgeted in his chair as prosecutors described Love’s final moments of life during closing arguments. In May 2010, they say Love was in her off-campus apartment at the University of Virginia when Huguely kicked in her door. “Imagine what that was like. She’s freaked out, shrinking into the corner of her bed, trying to get away.”
Prosecutors say Love couldn’t scream because Huguely covered her mouth. Then they showed the autopsy photos of Love’s beaten face. You could hear crying in the courtroom. Even the prosecutor broke down in tears describing how Love was left face down in her bed in a pool of her own blood for up to two hours, dying.
Prosecutors also said Huguely took Love’s computer which contained a threatening e-mail Huguely wrote when he was upset over Love’s affair with another lacrosse player: “I should have killed you.”
Prosecutors say when Huguely threw Love’s computer in a dumpster, it proves intent that he was trying to cover up the murder.
They ended by saying: “This was not an accident.”
Defense attorneys focused the end of their case on the medical evidence.
May: “How do you think she died?”
Neurology Expert: “Oxygen deprivation.”
Speaking briefly with WJZ after his testimony, the expert in neurology tried contradicting the prosecution’s theory that Love died of blunt force trauma. Instead their claim that Love passed out and suffocated after the altercation with Huguely is an attempt to try and prove that Huguely didn’t mean to kill her.
Defense attorneys tried to convince jurors that this was not premeditated, saying George Huguely is a “stupid drunk but not calculating. You get what you get. He’s a boy athlete.”
They implied that Huguely does not have the mental capacity to plan out a first-degree murder but also said: “George does bear some responsibility for Yeardley Love’s death.” This they hope would get the jury to convict Huguely on a lesser charge like involuntary manslaughter that would carry a prison sentence of 10 years or less.
A first-degree murder charge that the jury is also considering implies life in prison for Huguely.
The jury has already received the instructions and has decided to begin deliberations on Wednesday.