Huguely Trial Begins with Opening Statements

Charlottesville, Va. -- After a group of 12 jurors and two alternates (seven men and seven women) was empanelled, the trial of George Huguely V began on Wednesday with attorneys making their opening statements.

Prosecutor and Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman described a pattern of threats by Huguely against Yeardley Love, contending that Huguely intended to kill Love and then took her computer in an effort to hide evidence. Chapman quoted an apparent e-mail from Huguely to Love just two days before she died in which he said that "when I found about [the relationship with the University of North Carolina lacrosse player], I should have killed you." Chapman also reviewed autopsy findings showing the extensive damage Love had suffered.

Huguely is represented by Francis McQ. Lawrence and Rhonda Quagliana. In his opening statement, Lawrence argued that Huguely did not intend to kill Love, that he had been drinking so heavily that his actions could not have been premeditated, and that the jury should consider a charge of involuntary manslaughter instead of murder. Lawrence also contended that Huguely took Love's laptop only as "collateral" so he could force her to continue to talk with him.

The first day of testimony included several witnesses, including Love's mother and sister. For much more on the trial, see the Associated Press story (e.g., Richmond Times-Dispatch) or the local account in the Charlottesville Daily Progress.


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