Ex-Virginia lacrosse player sentenced to 23 years in murder trial
Charlottesville, VA, United States (4E Sports) – Former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V received a 23-year prison sentence Thursday for the 2010 murder of ex-girlfriend and fellow player Yeardley Love, putting an end to a criminal case that captured national attention.
“I’m so sorry for your loss. . .I hope and pray that you find peace,” the 24-year-old Huguely told Love’s family as he spoke in court in handcuffs and wearing a gray striped prison jumpsuit.
Huguely also thanked his own family for the love and support during the ordeal as he was led from the courtroom.
“Maybe another day, but today I’m overwhelmed,” victim’s mother Sharon Love said but refused to give additional comment on the sentence. The victim’s sister, Lexie, also declined comment.
In a statement, Huguely’s family said they “love George and will always support him” and that they believe “Love’s death was an accident”.
Huguely was convicted by a Charlottesville jury in February of second-degree murder in Love’s death during an argument at her off-campus apartment. The jury also found Huguely guilty of stealing Love’s computer as he left.
Love’s body was found with her face down in a bloody pillow after midnight May 3, 2010, by a roommate and Huguely was arrested within hours.
Huguely admitted in a taped interview with police that after a day of drinking, he kicked through Love’s bedroom door after she refused to talk with him about their recent break-up.
He then demonstrated to police how he had shaken Love, and described how he wrestled Love to the ground before pushing her back on to her bed. He said that he left her bleeding but alive and that he took her computer on the way out.
The 22-year-old Love died of blunt-force trauma to her head, according to a medical examiner.
During the course of the case, three witnesses testified of other violent acts by Huguely. One woman testified that in 2008 an angry Huguely put his hands around her throat at a bar during an argument. She said he only backed off when a bouncer intervened and threw him out.
Witnesses also testified about the time Huguely punched a sleeping teammate in a fit of jealousy over that student’s involvement with Love, and an incident in which Huguely punched a U-Va. tennis player who was accompanying a woman Huguely had been sporadically dating.
Huguely’s defense team tried to urge Judge Edward Hogshire to sentence Huguely to 14 years, which would be at the low end of state sentencing guidelines, instead of the 26 years recommended by the jury.