Forensic litany: Lots of exhibits, less DNA evidence

On February 14, a day when forensic testing took center stage, afternoon court watchers began to wonder why the prosecution presented witness after witness who offered no evidence connecting accused murderer George Huguely to the scene of the crime.

"There were no latent prints of value," said fingerprint expert Jenny Mouer from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, describing test results from the kicked-in door to Yeardley Love's room, as well as from a can of Natural Light beer collected from Love's bathroom.

A trace evidence expert from the Department of Forensic Science said he could not determine the source of a stain lifted from Love's bedroom wall, and a report showing the results of his testing was circulated to the jury but not revealed to the courtroom at large.

Other afternoon testimony included toxicology test results which revealed that Love's BAC was .14– not high enough, according to Assistant Chief Medical Examiner Bill Gormley– to be life threatening. Love had no illegal drugs in her system, according to testimony, but did test positive for a "therapeutic level" of amphetamine, explained by her Adderall prescription.

And a blood stain pattern expert from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science described some blood on Love's bedspread, sheets, and carpet as the defense pushed expert Marjorie B. Harris to admit that Love could have been standing when blood fell to the carpet and that the nature of the stains on the sheets and bedspread made it it impossible to determine how they got there.

The night was capped with a litany of exhibits– dozens of swabs and things recovered from three apartments: Love's, Huguely's, and a downstairs neighbor to Huguely.

Huguely's blood was on his mammoth shorts, repeatedly dangled before the jury, as WUSA reporter Bruce Leshan pointed out, as a subtle effort to show jurors just how large a man Huguely was in 2010. Previously, prosecutor Chapman asked a burly police investigator named Jeremy Carper to assess Huguely's arrest-era size with his own. Carper, giving his own stats as six feet and 200 pounds, declared Huguely the larger man.

Love's blood was on her bedspread, pillowcase, sheet, bed ruffle, and on her floor– but no blood's on the infamously balled-up black t-shirt. Also, Love's underwear contained a 5" x 2" bloodstain, but prosecutor Chapman, oddly, presented garments into evidence with no DNA on them. He found a way to make DNA boring. "The Chandra Levy case would still be going on if that prosecutor had been this thorough," declared an out-of-town reporter. "The sniper case would still be going on too."

–story gently edited for print on Tuesday, February 21

Read more on: George Huguely


So, they introduced all that evidence Monday with nothing connecting except the DNA under their fingernails? Odd.

I'm glad he's being methodical. Dave Chapman isn't presenting this case so that it makes good television, he's sealing the deal on Huguely's fate. Maybe he'll get murder 1 and maybe he won't, but the felony murder seems like a slam dunk.

His performance should be judged based on the length of Huguely's sentence and nothing else.

This trial, sadly, reminds me a novel by Steinbeck...

Of Mice and Men...

'Lennie Small, (George Huguely) a man of large stature and great strength but limited mental abilities...'

“Lennie's part of the dream is merely to tend to (and touch) soft rabbits on the farm.”

“Lennie becomes frightened, and in the scuffle, unintentionally breaks her neck.'

This is George Huguely: A man of limited mental abilities that broke his latest toy. His family had always replaced his broken toys in the past, but somehow, they just can't replace a girl friend that was one-of-a-kind.

RIP: Yeardley love

'Can I have a rabbit for my very own?"

Yes, George, Bubba is waiting for you in the gray bar motel with a rabbit.

I think the deliberateness of the prosecution is to show a fair, no stone left unturned, THOROUGH investigation and to gain the trust of the jurors. Hopefully they just see the defense as a pair of overpaid whiners.

I think now that the prosecution has played into the defense's hands with the issue of George's size. All they have to say now is that he fell on her and Yeardley's head hit the floor, or the desk. That much weight coming down on her...accidently, of course.

And what was the blood of hers on the back of his shorts? Did I misunderstand one of the afternoon tweets? Sounds like Mr. Chapman may be playing a game of Twister tomorrow.

Hopefully tomorrow will reveal something big...damn, or else I barely see manslaughter.

Oh, and George won't testify. (see Lloyd Snook's blog for a full analysis) The defense got all they needed from him on that tape playback. Admitting to some things, showing he cared for Yeardley and he cried...both on tape and in person, to show he was sorry. I'm sure the jury ate that up. Ugh.

reminds me of Robert Chambers.......................

@Restore the Republic - the defense would like the jury to believe he was a "Lennie", however, he was accepted by UVA he had to have more mental capacity than a "Lennie".

@meanwhile... & Shay - Agreed, and I didn't think of that take of it all. They do not want the defense to question the methods or integrity of the collection of the evidence, even if it doesn't indicate anything at all.

Just imagine once the defense has their say we will all be picking that apart. I still caution everyone, be very careful about your fall to a carpeted floor, you could meet your demise.

A friend of mine's daughter, when a baby, fell two feet off of a normal height standard bed (box springs and mattress on frame- 25" roughly) onto a carpeted floor. The impact was so great it caused severe bleeding on the brain-- thats, right, just two feet!-- that's right-- a single fall!-- the child is about 10 now, in a wheelchair, can not speak, walk and has the mental capacity of a two or three year old. Luckily, the parents were there to take her to the doctor.

@ All of you.

Stop with the Steinbeck analogies! Like Cville said, a lacrosse stick doesn't get you into a school like UVA. My question is why do they have some dude from Snooky's Pawn Shop on the stand right now?

@Santana, there is a huge difference between a baby falling and an adult. A baby is not fully developed an adult is - you can't compare an infant falling to an adult who may have fallen.

BTW - Laptop is valued at $250 - $350 and VA Law states Grand Larcany is $200 or over.


I was just going to point out that difference to Santana. Thank you. Also, I forgot about the grand larceny charges...

Hook tweeted that the pawn broker gave the value of the laptop, which was in question if it was valued high enough to make it "grand larcany" which may be the seal for 1st degree murder here.


Any idea what the displayed text messages said?

Guess what guys? A baby's head is still soft, malleable and accepting of trauma as it has not fully formed and the skull is not hardened. Babies who receive hard impacts are more apt to recover from such a fall with such a rubbery exterior. The brain goes with the flow instead of reverberating off a hard skull casing as it would in an adult's case. Ask your pediatrician or any expert.


Thank you for the phrenology lesson. Yeardley's head was fully developed and her body had more mass than an infants. Your comparison is null and void.

@Santana, I know experts and work with them from a charity I started regarding an infant condition. First, a fall for an infant off a bed is like 5 stories vs. an adult which it is 25 inches. There is a HUGE difference. Do you know why they call infants under 28 days neonates? Because their physiologically not human. Do you know why they are so concerned about infants if ill or injured prior to 6 months? They are not like an adult or even an older child. The skulls yes are more "malleable" as you put it but it also translates to more vulnerable too. You are comparing apples to oranges.

YL's brain injury appears to be from blunt force trama with no real evidence of her head hitting anything but being hit by a fist or shaken.

@JC - the text messages were only shown to the Jury. I believe after all is said and done, the public will be given the information on those and the letter and any other information not given out.

I think our Commonwealth's attorney is actually being very smart about this - if this is key evidence - you don't want it out to muddy the news media and a juror may be more likely to see a headline or news feed.

Been following the Tweets through NBC29, apparently one of Huguely's buddies, Clausen, was at dinner with with George and his father. George dropped the bottle of wine, his father told him to stop drinking. Why didn't his father, or roommates, just tell him to go to bed?

Im surprised there hasn't been any discussion about the large (5x2) spot of blood found in love's underwear. Doesn't this indicate trauma- like rape? Is there another reason there would be blood in that region? Is that what the prosecution is attempting to insinuate! But doesn't have enough evidence to prove?


There has been no mention of rape or sexual assault. However, that did cross my mind as well.

Or that she was menstruating or spotting.

No where was it said that the blood was "in" her panties, just on her underwear. Big difference

Ok, I now can see how they are going to nail Huguely based on the recent testimony from his roommates.

Computer found in dumpster but he took it as collateral. ? How can something be collateral if one threw it away in a dumpster? I think the State has him on Felony Murder. I also don't know if the jury is going to be able to get around hole in door. But then again, Casey Anthony can lie until the cows come home and did not even get a child endangerment charge......

@Sade, the difference with the Anthony case is that there was not a "cause" of death truly determined, the evidence they had was gathered inappropriately and tainted, some of it later discredited. Also they came upon the fact that the defense threw her father and mother under the bus as being involved.

No one has said that anyone other that GH5 was in that room until her roommate showed. Then again, they will start their show very soon, with as much as they have pulled out of thin air? I'm bracing myself.


I can't see how the roomies testimonies helps the prosecution. Please explain!

@ Santana

"Luckily, the parents were there to take her to the doctor."

Luckily? It doesn't sound like much of a luckily if "the child is about 10 now, in a wheelchair, can not speak, walk and has the mental capacity of a two or three year old."

I'm anxious to see what the defense conjures up too. With no cameras in the courtroom, I've only been able to follow tweets and news articles. But from what I can tell, it looks like the prosecution put on a good case. So it will be interesting to see how the defense chooses to attack it.

Txalli, it sounds (from the tweets) like one or two (maybe more) have testified that GH5 lied about going to Love's apartment. He said he was somewhere else. Coupled with stealing and discarding her laptop, it points to consciousness of guilt.

Unfortunately, we don't know what was in the text messages that were presented to the jury but not to the courtroom spectators. If those text messages incriminate GH5, the recipients have to take the stand and confirm that they received them. I only know this from a case, in Virginia, were I was on the witness list (but never had to testify) to confirm that I had printed out some FB pages. The lawyer couldn't present them unless I was there to say, yes, I went on FB and printed out the pages.


The fact that Huguely lied about where he had been. He was covering something up.

@Txalli, when GH5 returned, two were there and asked where he had been, he said downstairs in another appartment with one witness who was sober and writing a paper and the other apparently wasn't there but at his own place blocks away. Lied to the first two witnesses about where he was. He was also apparently acting strange and when asked what was wrong 3 times by the same, he never answered or never gave a satisfactory answer. The second witness who was at his place blocks away came over and saw GH5 while GH5 decided to use the bathroom with an open door. GH5 then went to his room and shut the door.

Meanwhile he had texted/called the other girls that night prior to going over to YL's. He was obviously a very busy boy.

I think all the witnesses sum up what he was doing when the witnesses were around and also tie up the timeline or time period he was at YL's. He only had perhaps a 30 minute window from the time he left his own place to YLs place, to walk over there break down the door, beat the heck out of her, grab the laptop, throw it in the trash as he came back. His 8-10 minutes account give or take a bit for being at her place.

The text messages/calls also show what he was doing at that time too.

Appears from all the tweets from it all today, most of the witnesses didn't think highly of him before and think even less of him now.

JeffersonChurchill- who drove Boy George home or wherever after dinner? Again, ahs it been proven, beyond a reasonable doubl\t, that he was drunk? Of course not, the prosecution does not want him to have any excuse to fall back on.

The defnce, on teh other hand want to show him as drunk and intoxicated as possible to show that he didn't know what he was doing, beyond a reasonable doubt...........

cin17 -- That isn't accurate about the recipients of the texts as it doesn't matter if anyone got them, just that he sent them. They could get them in through his cell provider or by stipulation.


Yeah, based on the testimony and the facts it is clear that George was looking for some horizontal refreshment to top off his long arduous day of binge drinking. It sounds like his dad is also a huge pompous a$$.


Good questions, how come they haven't been addressed I wonder?

just saw the results of Ms. Love's tox test... .14

@Skip, recall college or being that age .14 was feeling good. ;) Seriously if I were to have a couple of drinks now I would feel it. Then, I probably was above a .14 and it barely affected me. But that level was far below a level that would affect her and her meds.

.08 is the lower limit for intoxication in Virginia to operate a motor vehicle. Never said it was bad..............then again, a self diagnosis with a .14 may not be valid either.

It certainly does not make you want to bang your head against a wall or an invite to be murdered.

The defense will show it that way. They may have found an expert who will claim that. Wonder where they will be from.

Wtf comparing infant with adult.. -_-' Come on!