Virginia lacrosse players from Maryland had ‘rocky relationship’ before killing, lawyer for slain woman’s family says – Baltimore Sun

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In her ninth grade essay, Yeardley Love wrote about what she wished to do along with her life: attend the University of Virginia, play lacrosse there, turn out to be a lawyer and preserve her shut relationship along with her household.

Many of her goals got here true, however they ended abruptly and violently when she was brutally overwhelmed by her boyfriend, a lawyer for Love’s household informed a jury Tuesday in the civil trial of the person convicted in her killing.

George Huguely V was convicted of second-degree homicide and is serving a 23-year jail sentence in Love’s slaying. Yeardley, a Cockeysville resident who attended Notre Dame Prep, and Huguely, who lived in Chevy Chase and attended Landon, each performed lacrosse at Virginia and have been weeks away from commencement when Yeardley was discovered lifeless in her off-campus condominium in 2010.

A wrongful-death lawsuit introduced by Love’s mom, Sharon Love, seeks to carry him civilly chargeable for her daughter’s demise. The lawsuit is looking for $29.5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

As the civil trial bought underway, Paul Bekman, a lawyer for Love’s household, confirmed the jury glad photographs of Love along with her mom and sister. He described a sort, considerate and caring younger girl who performed lacrosse, joined a sorority and saved up with a rigorous educational schedule at Virginia whereas ensuring to talk along with her household virtually day by day.

Bekman informed the jury that Love and Huguely had dated for 2 years, however had a “rocky relationship” that was marred by Huguely’s extreme ingesting. He mentioned fellow college students will testify about earlier violent episodes when Huguely was drunk, together with one which occurred a couple of month or two earlier than Yeardley was killed, when visiting lacrosse gamers from North Carolina heard Love yell, “Help, I can’t breathe,” and walked in to Huguely’s bed room to search out Huguely along with his “hands around her neck.”

Bekman confirmed the jury graphic crime scene photographs of Love as she lay lifeless on her bed room ground, along with her proper eye bashed in, her face bloody, and marks on her shoulder and neck. Love’s mom and sister left the courtroom simply earlier than the photographs have been proven and cried softly throughout different parts of the opening statements.

A health worker decided that Love died from blunt-force accidents to her head.

“She died as a result of a vicious and brutal beating,” Bekman mentioned.

Huguely’s legal professional, Matthew Green, informed jurors that Huguely admits he assaulted Love and that her household is entitled to compensatory damages in an quantity to be decided by the jury. But he mentioned the protection will argue that Huguely’s actions didn’t quantity to the “willful and wanton” conduct that’s required to award punitive damages. In reality, Green mentioned, Huguely didn’t intend to trigger Love’s demise.

Green urged the jury to give attention to the roughly eight to 10 minutes Huguely spent in Love’s condominium the night time she was killed. He mentioned Huguely was a “party animal” who started ingesting proper after the boys’s lacrosse workforce performed its remaining sport May 1, 2010. Huguely’s household was on the town for senior day, and he spent the subsequent 30 hours consuming 45 to 50 drinks, utilizing a “conservative estimate,” Green mentioned.

The following day, Love and Huguely exchanged offended, “immature emails,” however had patched issues up by that night time and have been seen on video holding palms as they frolicked with Huguely’s household at a bar, Green mentioned. Then, about 11:45 p.m., a drunken Huguely went to Love’s condominium, the place he kicked in her bed room door.

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During questioning by police early the subsequent morning, Huguely mentioned he solely went to Love’s condominium to speak to her, however their argument rapidly turned bodily. Huguely mentioned Love’s head hit the wall and so they wrestled on the ground, however that when he left, she solely had a bloody nostril. Her roommates discovered her lifeless about two hours later.

Green mentioned Love’s seen accidents have been restricted to the suitable aspect of her face, which he mentioned is “consistent with a single impact, some kind of a fall where her face impacts the floor.”

Green mentioned that when police informed Huguely that Love was lifeless, his videotaped interview exhibits that “he just doesn’t believe it.”

“It’s clear he had no understanding a fatal event had happened,” Green mentioned.

Green mentioned the jury in Huguely’s legal trial rejected a first-degree homicide cost and as a substitute discovered him responsible of second-degree homicide. He is about midway via his 23-year jail sentence.

“Justice has been done,” Green mentioned.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2012, however was later voluntarily dismissed after which refiled in 2018.

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