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Huguely awaits verdict in U.Va. murder case

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Local,Crime,Emily Babay

No one disputes that University of Virginia lacrosse players George Huguely V and Yeardley Love had an on-again, off-again relationship filled with alcohol- and jealousy-fueled fights.

Love, 22, died in one of those altercations in May 2010, and a jury now must decide whether Huguely is responsible for her death.

Attorneys presented closing arguments Saturday in the murder trial of the 24-year-old from Chevy Chase, which ended its second week in Charlottesville Circuit Court

Jurors decided Saturday evening to wait until Wednesday -- the next available court day -- to begin their deliberations.

Prosecutor Dave Chapman stressed that Huguely had written, "I should have killed you" in an email to Love just days before she was found dead in her apartment. In that note, Huguely told Love he was upset because she didn't think she did anything wrong by hooking up with a University of North Carolina lacrosse player.

The email shows the depth of Huguely's "anger, resentment and hard feelings for Yeardley Love," Chapman said.

But defense attorney Francis McQ. Lawrence called the email an exaggeration in a relationship that had "lots and lots of drama."

Lawrence stressed that Huguely only wanted to talk to Love when he went to her apartment late in the evening on May 2, 2010.

"What George told the police is true," Lawrence said, referring to the taped statement to police Huguely gave the next morning. "He didn't do anything that could have caused that to her."

Lawrence said Huguely had "some responsibility" for Love's death, but killing her was "not calculated."

But Chapman suggested that Huguely should have known how bad Love's condition was. There were no signs Love tried to get assistance after he left, Chapman said.

"Who wouldn't crawl to get help if they could?" Chapman asked. "You don't have to be able to move to scream, you just have to be conscious."

Medical issues have played a large role in the trial. A medical examiner and two neuropathologists testified for the prosecution that Love died from blunt-force injuries to the head; defense medical experts testified that her brain injuries were not consistent with trauma.

Much testimony also centered on past fights between the pair and on Huguely's drinking - his teammates were planning an intervention and he had been consuming alcohol since about 9 a.m. the day Love died. In the months before the killing, Huguely had choked Love and Love had barged into Huguely's apartment and whacked him with her purse, according to testimony from the couple's friends.

ebabay@washingtonexaminer.com

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