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Guilty Verdict Issued in UVA Murder Trial
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An ex-University of Virginia lacrosse player has been found guilty of second degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, Yeardley Love. Love was 22 at the time of her murder and enrolled at UVA. The defendant, George W. Huguely V, was convicted by a jury of seven men and five women in Charlottesville, Virginia. The jury suggested a prison sentence of 25 years for Huguely.

The lawyer for Huguely, Francis Lawrence, told reporters after the ruling from the jury that “we are of course disappointed with this verdict. George has the support of a loving family. He has resilience and courage. He is hopeful and spiritual.”

  
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The death of Love has increased domestic violence awareness on college campuses across the country, leading to the creation of the SaVE Act by Congress in 2011. The act would help to increase federal laws that would prevent domestic violence on campuses while also helping report sexual assault and other types of violence.

Huguely was originally charged with robbery, breaking and entering, burglary, first-degree murder and murder in the commission of a robbery. Huguely was acquitted on those counts but then found guilty of grand larceny when he stole his girlfriend’s laptop following her beating death. A prison sentence of one year was issued by the jury for that charge.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 16 and the judge presiding over the case, Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire, is not required by law to issue the sentence recommended by the jury.

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Love’s mother, Sharon Donnelly Love, issued a statement that said:

“We dread looking back on the events of May 3, 2010, and pray for the strength to get through each day. Time has not made us miss Yeardley any less. In fact, quite the opposite. It is truly devastating to wake up each day and realize that she is no longer here.”    



Huguely’s lawyer, Lawrence, argued the following regarding his client:

“George had no intent to commit a crime. It was immature compulsiveness. When he was drunk, he was aggressively evil.”

Lawrence went on to say that Huguely arrived at Love’s apartment that night to speak with her, not to beat her and then steal her personal items. Lawrence then said that Love initiated the aggressiveness with Huguely.

Warner D. Chapman, an attorney for the Commonwealth of Virginia, argued that Huguely was not at the apartment simply to talk. He did so by showing the jury the actual door that Huguely kicked in to access Love’s apartment.

“If you think he went over there to have a conversation,” Chapman said, “what kind of conversation starter is that?”

The death of Love was painted as a deliberate act by Huguely in Chapman’s closing argument.

“This is not an accident case,” he said. “This is the case of a woman who went to bed in what should be one of the safest and secure places — her home. And then he began to assault her. He left her for dead.”



 

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