Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The wait is on. Jurors in George Huguely’s murder trial are forced to wait three days before they can start processing all they saw and heard about the tragic death of Cockeysville native Yeardley Love.
As Mary Bubula reports, Huguely faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, making the stakes very high in the quest to find justice for Love.
Jurors have time to think as deliberations are delayed three days.
Court was closed Monday because of the holiday and a grand jury day was previously set for Tuesday. So jurors will reconvene Wednesday morning.
Attorney Byron Warnken says the wait could favor one side.
“Time works to the advantage of the prosecution because I imagine the tone, the tenor, the vibrations in the community are very sympathetic to the victim,” Warnken said.
In closing arguments, Huguely’s defense attorneys stressed that Love’s death was an accident. They told jurors Huguely was “stupid, drunk, but not calculating. You get what you get. He’s a boy athlete.”
But the prosecutor described how Love was left faced down in her bed in a pool of blood after Huguely kicked in her door and beat her, telling jurors “This was not an accident.”
When they come back Wednesday, jurors will decide if Huguely is guilty of first-degree murder and/or felony murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.
Legal experts watching the case closely think the jury could convict Huguely on felony murder because it doesn’t require premeditation.
“If he has an intent to burglarize and during the burglary is causally connected to bringing about her death, it’s felony murder– even though it’s not premeditation, but it still gets the prosecution to the same place which is first-degree,” Warnken said.
But to get the felony murder conviction, jurors have to believe Love’s computer — stolen by Huguely and thrown in a dumpster– was worth more than $200. That’s something the defense contends it was not.
It’s a complicated case. Jurors heard from 60 witnesses, including family, friends and teammates of Huguely and Love and many medical experts who gave conflicting testimony.