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U.Va. lacrosse player charged in girlfriend's death

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A University of Virginia lacrosse player from Chevy Chase has been charged with murdering a women's lacrosse player at the school, Charlottesville police said.

George Huguely V, 22, a former high school All-American at the prestigious Landon School in Bethesda, was arrested Monday morning and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Yeardley Love, 22, of Cockeysville, Md. Witnesses told police that the pair, both seniors, had been in a romantic relationship at one time. Both were expected to graduate this month.

Sources told the Washington Examiner that the members of the men's and women's lacrosse squads were partying at a golf outing Sunday. At 2:15 a.m. Monday, Love's roommates called police to say she appeared to have overdosed on alcohol at her apartment. Officers found Love in her bed and immediately saw she had suffered visible physical trauma, police said.

"It was quickly apparent to them that this young lady was the victim of something far worse," Charlottesville police Chief Tim Longo said.

Police found Huguely at his apartment and arrested him at about 6 a.m.

University President John Casteen released a statement expressing sympathy for Love's family, teammates and friends.

"That she appears now to have been murdered by another student compounds this sense of loss by suggesting that Yeardley died without comfort or consolation from those closest to her," Casteen said.

Love was a star player at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, where she graduated in 2006.

"Yeardley was the core of the personality of the team -- she was our laughter, a good soul," said her high school coach, Mary Bartel. "She always found an appropriate way to lighten things up. I don't think there is a soul in this [school] building who could say her name without smiling."

Landon School officials and coaches did not return calls for comment.

The Virginia men's and women's teams were expected to make their respective NCAA tournaments Sunday. Love started three games for the Cavaliers. Huguely was a second-teamer who played in all 15 games.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 209-pound Huguely graduated from Landon in 2006. In addition to playing lacrosse, he was quarterback of the all-boys school's league championship football team. He was described as a prankster and ladies man in a 2006 Washington Post profile. Huguely once drove to practice in his coach's car, according to the Post story, and tried to get a kiss from an assistant coach's fiancee as a reward for making a good play.

For a later story, the Post interviewed Huguely and his father about the Duke lacrosse scandal in which team members were accused of sexually assaulting a stripper.

The younger Huguely expressed support for the players, some of whom were former teammates.

"In this country, you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty," he told the paper. The players were eventually found to have been wrongly accused.

Huguely's father said he had talked to his son about avoiding those kinds of situations.

"Regardless of what winds up happening, you have to learn from this experience and take what you can from it," George Huguely IV told the Post. "You always have to remember and can't let yourself be in a situation where something like this could happen."

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

Scott McCabe

Staff Writer - Crime
The Washington Examiner