Friday defense: Former high-schoolers tell of Love purse-smacking Huguely

Testimony resumed Friday in the trial of accused UVA murderer George W. Huguely V after a day-long hiatus caused by the illness of the 24-year-old defendant's co-counsel Rhonda Quagliana. Testimony proceeded without her.

First up was Michael Woodhouse, a bio-mechanical consultant, who said he found no evidence of any object such as a human head striking the wall of the bedroom of Yeardley Love, the fellow UVA student that Huguely is accused of killing.

Next came a pair of former Northern Virginia high school students who testified to being in Huguely's apartment a few nights before Love's death when an angry Love came in and hit Huguely with her purse.

Alice Barbara Billmire, now a UVA student, and Caroline Wattenmaker, now studying at Vanderbilt, told how a polite and appropriately-acting Huguely allowed them in his apartment before the incident.

After the two of them testified, computer consultant Ben Richard Thomas told the court the infamously purloined laptop computer was worth less than $150. Earlier in the trial, jurors heard from a local pawn shop owner who opined that it could be worth as much as $350. The dispute matters because the legal threshold for grand larceny– one of the charges against Huguely– is $200.

Next came an aunt who is also the godmother of George Huguely who showed the jurors a surveillance videotape shot at Boylan Heights on Saturday, May 1. Captured on tape were friendly interactions– including hand-holding between Huguely and Love– at Boylan Heights restaurant.

"I see 'Georgie' here," said Alina Massaro, sister to Huguely's mother, Marta Murphy. "They are holding hands."

On cross-examination, prosecutor Dave Chapman got Massaro to note that the meeting occurred at a family event, which included two of Massaro's four daughters, both teenagers. The implication seemed to be that– just as O.J. Simpson acted cordially toward Nicole Brown Simpson at a children's music recital on the day, as a civil jury later found, he slaughtered her– so might Huguely have warmly greeted Love on the day before Love's death.

And, shortly before 11am, the judge declared the proceedings over for the day, with court set to resume on Saturday the 18th of February and then again on Wednesday the 22nd.

After court adjourned Friday, a reporter interviewed Charlottesville defense attorney Scott Goodman on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse. Goodman, who is not connected to this case, said that Quagliana's absence– which the co-counsel Lawrence attributed to "projectile vomiting"– would probably not be a cause to appeal any verdict. Goodman noted that while Lawrence had told the judge that his client would have preferred to have Quagliana present, Lawrence did not formally object to the judge's decision to move forward.

story last updated at 1:09pm on Friday



Original headline: Friday defense: Huguely trial awaits Quagliana, more experts

Original posting: After a day of downtime giving half of the defense team time to recover from a sudden illness, court is set to resume Friday in the first-degree murder of former University of Virginia lacrosse player George W. Huguely V.

One doesn't know if it matters, but lead defense lawyer Fran Lawrence was seen walking in to court by himself again this day, the 17th of February. It was his co-counsel, Rhonda Quagliana, whose illness Thursday caused the proceedings to be canceled.

Lawrence told reporters that Quagliana would be absent again, but whether that means another delay could not immediately be determined.


This story is a part of the Huguely trial coverage special.
Read more on: George Huguely


This is an obvious stall tactic by the defense. But to what end?

I doubt it, there is a nasty stomach virus going around.

I dont know. There are an awful lot of sick people in Charlottesville this week. Its entirely plausible that Quaggs is in fact ill.
If anything, I would think this sort of delay would hurt the defense. Their case is going to be presented to the jury in a very choppy manner.

It seems to me that in a matter of such high profile as this trial, a trial that has created, for better or for worse, national and international attention, that the defense is under some obligation to either move forward or to explain to the court and the media exactly what is going on here. While I dislike what ifs, what if RQ was unable to return to the trial because of a fatal auto accident or some other long term disability. Seems as if FMCQL would be able to move things along.

If RQ's absence is a defense strategy, it is a very confounding one. It could hurt the prosecution and, perhaps, is a ploy to call for a mistrial. With the weak defense, this is a possibility, given the complexities of the case.

If RQ is really ill, how about demanding a note from a doctor? This can be done without violating any provisions of the health privacy act. The doctor doesn't need to say what the illness is, just say that she is under medical care and can't appear in court.

All in all, very strange!

They have told the court exactly what is going on. If they lied, they could easily face bar discipline. They haven't told the media and they dont need to. People are so nosy in this country.

Her absence won't help the defense but it obviously is not grounds for a mistrial.

Totally agree about the doctor's note - but the testimony is sort of odd. Of course GH5 was "polite and appropriately-acting" any male would be to two young females! Egad, don't need to be a detective for that.

NBC 29 just reported that the Judge, despite objection from FMCQL, ruled that the trial must go forward. This is a clear tactic on the part of the defense to set up the case for an appeal. It could also be a ploy to request a mistrial. Seems like very bad lawyering to me, but may buy some time for GH5. Very strange, very, very strange.

She's sick, and married to a Judge. If she is faking, then there is a lot more wrong with her than a simple flu bug. As much as defense attorneys make me ill, I do not believe for one second that she is not as sick as she says she is. This is hurting the defense, not helping it.

sitting next to a killer for a week would make me sick too.

Confused ? So, if the judge ordered the trial to go forward over defense objections, why did he adjourn " shortly before 11m " ?

UVAGU Prof -- As others have noted - norovirus is rampant in Charlottesville right now, and has been for over a month. Sounds like you are not still in town.

What do you/did you teach? Clearly not law . . . I would expect professors to wait for all the evidence before forming conclusions. Hopefully you are retired and no longer in the classroom.

Does anyone know more background of George's maternal side? I know Marta and Alinna Sanson have a father named Carlos. What is their nationality? Also, someone posted in another piece that Teran had a "Mona Lisa Smile" which is dead on correct. Does anyone know

Would anyone be surprised if this alleged illness is some sort of ploy, considering it comes from a defense team that suggested YL caused her own injuries by falling to the floor and later suffocating in her pillow? Why would that shock anyone?

Really UVAGUProfessor a note from the doctor? I don't think this is a tactic. Her doctor contacted the judge for crying at loud. What does it all really matter? You know the outcome.

Court has been called off for this afternoon, resuming Saturday am. The kicker here is--if RQ has that contagious bug that is going around--Fran could get it, as could little Georgie. Hope not, as this would really drag things out.
R.I.P.: Ret. ACPD Officer Morris

In no way, shape or form do I believe that Ms. Quagliana is not ill, nor do I believe that this trial delay is a thinly-veiled defense strategy. [And I am no fan of the defense nor of this defendant.]

If Huguely is found guilty of any charge save larceny, it will be a fait accompli, i.e., done deal, that the defense will automatically request an appeal. The fact that His Honor made the decision to move forward with the defense's case this morning, against the stated wishes of Fran Lawrence, will only serve to underscore any appeal that takes place.

The bottom line: even if this delay had not occurred--regardless of the reason--the defense will request an appeal if a conviction is handed down by the jury.

I do not believe that this delay will result in a mistrial.

NBC29's twitter said that Fran Lawrence said that Rhonda was projectile vomitting. I highly doubt she's faking - that would be stupid. And since she had prepped and was versed in the medical evidence, it would be serious grounds for a mistrial if the judge didn't wait for her.

Given that Fran Lawrence, co-counsel, managed today's defense witnesses that did not include medical experts, and the judge has recessed the trial for the remainder of the day, I fail to see grounds for a mistrial at this juncture.

I'm not one to ever advocate violence, but considering the way things turned out, I wish she would have loaded that purse up with rolled coins and socked it to his nether regions. He is scum. Pure and simple. If he had an ounce of dignity about him, he'd plead no contest and this trial wouldn't even occur.

The aunt calls him "Georgie" no wonder he never grew up and The Washington Post reported "Georgie" didn't feel comfortable or protected unless Rhonda was able to resume the trial on his behalf!! This child/man whether he gets five or fifty years his life will never be the same! I hope there is justice for the mother and sister of Yeardley, she was a beautiful talented girl...gone way to soon

Not trying to defend him, but I doubt anyone would feel comfortable if the attorney who was versed in the medical evidence was not able to question the medical experts. If spending the rest of your life in jail is what's on the line.

If the judge forced them to go on (with the medical testimony) without Quagliana, that could definitely be grounds for a mistrial. So obviously the judge is doing the right thing.

I like the term "man-child". My concern is why we consider him a child. We expect mothers that age to be fully functioning adults yet Georgie keeps being referred to as a college lacrosse player. Well, I was once an athlete, but I stopped referring to myself as a field hockey player in college. Even though I did play field hockey. The same holds true for sororities. I don't go around referring to my sorority to identify myself. Am I wrong to assume that it is very sophmoric to identify oneself as there "used to be" status?

Kate I do agree the Judge is making the right decision to not go ahead without Rhonda...I just found it ironic that "Georgie" did not feel comfortable without her and I understand that....but ironic he is hiding behind a woman, when Yeardley had no one to protect her from this thug!

JAB -- and others, this is a serious question -- What would you have him plead no contest to? And, why?

The decision to suspend or not suspend trial due to the illness of the defense counsel can only lead to a mistrial if it somehow leads to inappropriate action by a juror(s) during any delay. The real issue is whether the judge's decisions on this can create unfairness to the defendant sufficient to constitute grounds to overturn on appeal any guilty verdict rendered. Seems to me the judge has been quite careful on this. He clearly wants the trial wrapped up -- to avoid potential jury taint (from among other things exposure to our ramblings) but also to clear this off the court calendar. Accordingly, he did force the defense to go out of order in the presentation of its case and put on the fact witnesses Mr. Lawrence had been handling, but he delayed the resumption of Ms. Quagliana's expert witnesses until she recuperates. Judges are given great leeway in managing their courtrooms, so it is unlikely the judge's decisions so far put the ultimate verdict in jeopardy. IMO, though, he should be careful in telegraphing concern about getting the court's docket moving on to other things -- while somewhat understandable as this case was scheduled so far out to find two open weeks on the calendar. If that trail estimate proved unduly short the defense should not be cutoff, when the state had several days to put on its case and likely exceeded its original time estimate.

@quit the bickering please - agree because I don't refer to myself as a former equestrian etc. we all had time periods of that and it is done, it doesn't define us as a whole. Remember, the media is also in this so they are also referring to him as a LAX player, UVA Student etc. But then his own defense stated "Georgie" wasn't complicated or complex, just a LAX player - playing into the "roll" too.

As for the "note" from a doctor, as an individual called to Jury Duty, if I was ill, I would have to produce one if I was to be on a jury - why shouldn't an attorney be required to provide one too? I'm not stating she isn't ill, I am just stating that some things need to be provided to be "on record".

I just am hoping this whole thing ends soon!

@An Observer, IF he had feelings or "love" for YL and IF he had regret for what he did and IF he wasn't so arrogant to believe he can beat this - he would have pled guilty and accepted his fate.

If he really cared, he wouldn't have wanted her family or the public to hear of all the lurid details of their torrid relationship and his and others attempt of painting her as an unreasonable ADHD girl who "slept around" which I don't see how two encounters constitute that in today's world. He wouldn't have wanted all the pictures of her out there and would want to start serving his time.

Now some will state, but he didn't intend to kill her. I don't care, if he truly cared, and thought of others other than himself - he would have pled guilty, stood up like a man and taken his punishment.

@ chesapeake - I agree that the "protected" statement is pretty lame. Who knows if he actually said that, or if it was just Lawrence being dramatic to ensure the trial was delayed until Quagliana is back.

@observer - I totally agree. I think the judge is doing the right thing...although if I were a juror, I'm sure it would be annoying. And I agree that they should be careful not to rush things along. Two weeks always seemed like a pretty short estimate to me.

good point kateburg. the defense says he is not complicated just a lacrosse player. This irritates me.

Great question posted earlier. I would be curious to know more about George's mom.

It sounds like the defense counsel has what has been raging through nursing homes in town and among the general population . I've had this in the past and thought for 2 days I would die - worst I've ever felt, but luckily runs it's course in 2-3 days. I'll venture a guess that her co-counsel will be stricken as well, along with others she has had contact with. Norovirus is highly contagious.

Love hit Huguely with her purse?? Holy crap! Sounds like justifiable homicide on Huguely's part to me. Maybe now the jury will acquit him in time for him to be home by early next week. The defense won't have to go with their Plan B now..........arguing that aliens landed in a flying saucer and zapped Love with a secret head-basher ray gun.

Honestly, is this what Huguely's alcoholic father is getting in the way of a legal defense for his son in return for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he's shelling out? He could have spent the money on more booze.

@HC Worker: Re the Norovirus, I had it once and it was the sickest I ever felt in my life. Stuff coming out top and bottom constantly. Unless someone has had it, they have NO idea how bad it is. On a more positive note, maybe Georgy Boy will get it.

I believe GHV is guilty, guilty, guilty. I don't believe his lawyer would stake her career on faking a stomach flu to get out of work, or jeopardize the trial. That's so off base.

As to GHVs aunt's testimony and security footage of hand holding, big whoop on several levels. One, GHV might not have told his family that things were rocky or had ended w/ Love. It was a family event among people more concerned with keeping up appearances than letting the dirty laundry air. Love may have done him a favor by just playing nice for the 'rents.

But none of this changes the fact that if I hold my boyfriend, lovers, or husbands hand the day before does not mean that I deserve to have my door broken down for the beating of my life the next day. The two have nothing to do with one another. Love and GHV's shared volatility do not equate to legitimizing the beating she took that snuffed out her life.

I read somewhere that GH5 passed a note to his step-father at the end of court today. Would LOVE to know what that note said!!

how is he able to pass a note?

Cville Native -- I hear what you said, but which charge would you have him plead to?

He has started serving his time -- he has been in jail since the day this happened (or the next day, depending on actual "time of death"). He did not ask for bail -- which says to me he accepted at least some responsibility from the get go. This isn't about not wanting to go to jail, the only question left is "for how long?"

I am sure he did not want this trial -- I honestly can't fathom that anyone directly involved wanted this to go to trial. What has perplexed me for some time is who drove this to trial?? DId the Commonweatlh insist on Murder 1 and nothing less? (And, if so, why; since that doesn't seem to be the standard MO in that office?) DId the Love family insist on Murder 1, and the CA acquiesced? Was the hold-up the recommended sentence? Or was Huguely holding out for involuntary manslaughter and nothing more? I can only buy your argument if this last one is the case. Problem is we will probably never know . . .

Do you know whether he was ever offered a plea deal to murder 2 or something else? (I don't.)

You have stated your conviction that Huguely intended to kill Ms. Love when he went to her apartment. Honestly, I haven't heard evidence from the prosecution that proves that beyond a reasonable doubt. Certainly there are facts in evidence from which one arguably could infer that intent -- hence the denial of the motion to dismiss -- but I have serious doubts that he intended to kill her. That is why I could never have suggested to Huguely that he plead guilty or even nolo to Murder 1. Soon we'll know how the jury puts it all together.

Your screen name says you are from Charlottesville, but you have never indicated whether you live there now or ever lived there in "adult life." It is a small town when it comes to the legal community. A lot of what transpires in such a community is based on trust and good faith. Judge Hogshire and Ms. Quagliana clearly know each other and deal with each other often. That is why the judge would not make her produce a doctor's note.

Just a note to remind everyone that this is NOT the trial to watch. The kicker comes several days after GH is found guilty in any way of causing YL's death. That's when GH will get served with the multi-million dollar "wrongful death" suit from her family. That is the trial Fran and Rhonda are prepping for now with this trial. They have to know that the suit is coming, but also that if they can get GH off with just a manslaughter conviction, that will be better for them than a murder 1 convivtion. Fran has his sights set on defending him then.

@An Observer - No, we are not privy to what was offered as a plea and as for Murder 1, 2, or all the other charges he is facing, truly, if I had gotten into a violent rage and killed someone I would feel I should be dead period.

May 4, 2011 - he was denied bail, so it was requested. At one time there were negotiations to settle this case but I also believe you have attorneys involved in any settlement - ha! And if you want something to drag out, involve an attorney, want it to drag out more, involve two and so on.

I will state this again - Intent to murder can be formed 2 seconds before you commit it. Truly the only two people who know if there was intent, one is not living and the other well, truth would not help him and it is obvious from the taped interview, he isn't exactly truthful.

I was born at Martha Jefferson Hospital. I went to school in the area, grew up in the area, moved away from the area and moved back. I love the Blue Ridge Mountains - it is home for me. (Though I have family from MA, IL, CA and elsewhere.) And yes, it is a small town with the legal community, however, many of the old timers have retired though that still doesn't deny the fact there is a Good Ol' Boys Club around here. Always has been and especially in law and law enforcement.

And trust and good faith here - watch what you say and who you say it to and your back - all the time. Trust no one.

George Robinson, seriously? You do understand such a suit could only legitimately be brought against George, the defendant, and not against his parents, right? He was past the age of majority, so the parents are not responsible for his acts. If the reports of the Huguley family money troubles are correct, it is unlikey young George has a big "trust fund," or any other assets worth going after. If there is an applicable excess liability policy, the insurance company would handle that defense, not necessarily George's personal lawyers.

I certainly hope the Love's are somehow able to move forward from this tragedy on to more productive pursuits, such as the "One Love" Foundation.

And it should be noted, depending upon the Trust Fund and the way it is set up, it may not be able to be accessed or considered part of assets if such a suit was brought. For example, if there is a Trust from his grandparents, how many sisters and brothers does he have? It could be divided - and protected from any suits or creditors too.

Though I do thing a Wrongful Death suit may be filed. Lawyers are involved - everything gets muddy...

@An Observer - I remember reading in the summer/fall that the lawyers were trying to work out some sort of plea. I'm not sure how serious that was, but I'm sure the defense would have been happy to plead to manslaughter for a reduced sentence. But I can see why the prosecutor wouldn't go for that considering how high profile this case has become.

@Cville Native - George has one younger sister. I also think there will be a wrongful death suit, especially if he is only convicted of manslaughter and gets a light sentence.

Cville -- There was a bail hearing on 5/4, but the defendant waived bail, i.e., did not request any. Now, he probably wouldn't have gotten bail if he had asked, but bail was never denied.

I read that Fran said he wasn't comfortable proceeding...not Georgie.

I have a question. I know that Yeardley was a small woman, though I've never seen it published exactly her height and weight. But for arguments sake, assuming, 5'5" and 110 pounds, how many drinks exactly would it take to put her at .17 blood alcohol level? The reason I ask is because I know only 1 or two drinks could put someone over the legal limit for driving and say, it only took 4 drinks at/after dinner to get to the .17. And the account I heard was that she was with a group celebrating a birthday doing shots. Not in anyway unusual, imo. The jury is by all accounts young and could probably relate to not being THAT 'disabled' if that were the case that only a few drinks could render .17 for her weight.

He's 24?? how long was he in College?

Just to resolve issues raised by the OPs. I am not in Charlottesville, I moved away ten years ago and returned once to bailout a bizarrely run organization that was going down for the third time. I rented a furnished house in Ivy and left every weekend to spend time at my country home outside of Lexington. I have spent most of my time in DC since the bailout and find it to be more entertaining than Charlottesville.

I am not a lawyer, I don't play one on television and find most lawyers to be snake oil salesman. I have personal attorney for whom I have the greatest respect. As one of the great scholars of the past said, " I am not a lawyer and my other habits are equally good."

This trial, in a place where the founding fathers debated the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and many other seminal issues, is exactly what the documents of record prescribe. The Love family needs closure on this tragedy and will only find it after GH5 is afforded his rights.

I dispute the claim that the legal community in Charlottesville is small and tight. I know dozens of attorneys in Charlottesville and they all hate each other. The divorce bar in this town are among the lowest of the low and I've been out drinking with several of them and I would be embarrassed to share what they have to say about each other. Not a pretty picture. According to most local barristers, few of their colleagues had parents who were married when they were born. As far as any type of a plea arrangement, I don't think that the Commonwealth had any latitude with regard to moving to a trial given the charges against GH5.

For the record, I haven't taught since before GH5 was born. There is no real money in teaching and it is clear that those who can do and those who can't teach. Charlottesville is overrun with those who can't do and a panoply of professors who retired from Mr., Jefferson's Academical Village and have stuck around town to press their ideas on unsuspecting benefactors who provide tax advantaged investments for ideas that amount to nothing of value to the world at large. In the event anybody on this comment list cares, I hold multiple degrees from a number of top shelf universities. I went to law school for a year and left because it was such a cutthroat experience. I have served this country in the military, as a diplomat, an ambassador and a senior member of our government. I am a political consultant of late and teach those who seek the glory of elective office how to answer questions from the press. How to stay married to their first spouse and not screw around while in office. And how to know when it is time to go. It is such a beautiful day and I am headed back out to enjoy the weather. Can't wait till Saturday! Tune in for more of As Charlottesville Turns!

BTW, the most important outcome here is that justice is done. I trust the jurors will make the right decisions. Too many good people have suffered in this horrible tragedy.

He was of normal college age....he was 22 when this all happened.

Four years, plus 21 months in jail.

@UVAGUProfessor: "The divorce bar in this town are among the lowest of the low..." ???

As opposed to the normally high moral character of divorce attorneys elsewhere?

@realist: The "Plan B" you describe is about as believable as Huguely's attorney's implying that Love banged her own head against the wall. Yeah, right.

Prof, or, I guess, Former Prof --Thanks for the glimpse into who you are.

Not worth a big debate over who likes whom in the Charlottesville Bar. My point is that in a small legal community such as Charlottesville's, where judges have regular dealings with the local attorneys, they know who they can trust. Ergo, the fact that the judge took counsel's word on the illness is neither surprising nor inappropriate.

maybe is attorney finally "gets it" and is now sick to her stomach...makes sense to me.

@ UVAGUProfessor - Just curious, your job/career sounds much like the character of Eli (Alan Cumming) in "The Good Wife", or I could be off the mark here. Just answer when you can...

I also must agree with you regarding the animosity among attorneys here. C'ville being somewhat insulated from the world tends to have a whole lot of little fish desiring to become big fish and that makes enemies and friendemies.

But the whole thing of C'ville, is most everyone knows everyone else and there is a face one puts on for the public and then there are the things one keeps to themselves or spreads about town. If I were to write a book of the true stories of the very wealthy around here - they would place it in fiction because no one would believe it was fact.

George Huguely broke in the door, kicking a hole in it to get in.

He broke in the door.

And then Love died.

He broke in the door.

couple questions -

Did George often get play time in his games? Just curious why his parents attended the game. Is that normal?

If George is convicted where will he be sent and will he be in protective custody.

@ reader - I don't believe that George played that often. I think he was second string, perhaps third string.

That said, it's pretty common for the last home game to be "Senior Day" in many sports. So I assume this was the case for the lacrosse game, and why a lot of family seemed to be in town.

I have read that he is already in protective custody, which is not surprising due to the high profile nature of this case. Not sure what would happen if he is convicted and sent to another prison.

Thanks Kate! Sounds reasonable. I figured he would be in protective custody now but once he is sent to prison I don't know how that works. I would be interested in hearing often he meets with his lawyers. Once (and if) he is in prison will he be allowed to met with lawyers still?

@reader, he would probably be at ACRJ for a number of months before being sent to a State Prison, if he gets the time.

If the judge phrases his sentence "months" it will be ACRJ, if he states "years" that is DOC time and he will go to a state prison. More than likely Mecklenburg. Since he has already served 2 years they may send him immediately into DOC, you are only allowed to serve in the regional jails for 2 years. (Of course, this isn't a hard and fast rule due to overcrowding, Prisons shut down and such with budget cuts. Our ACRJ is paid very well to keep DOC prisoners.)

Huguely was on the second midfield for 2010 season. There are three midfielders per team in a game at a time. Typically, lacrosse teams sub like hockey, send in lines at a time, but Coach Starsia often leaves the first midfield in for much of the game, and subs in individuals. At some point it was stated Huguely had some playing time in most of the regular season games (he was in jail for the NCAA tournament). But it is fair to say he was never the star at UVa he was in high school.

Prior to conviction, a prisoner is under the control of the local sheriff. Upon conviction, a prisoner is turned over to the state prison system, which determines where the prisoner is transferred to serve whatever sentence is imposed. That determination depends in part on the crime one is convicted of and the length of the sentence. It is totally up to the department of corrections whether circumstances warrant special treatment of a given prisoner.

A prisoner would not see his or her attorney unless they were working on an appeal or other legal process to alter the result of the trial and a face-to-face meeting was necessary. The prisoner could be housed hours away from counsel.

@reader, they are always allowed to meet with their attorneys even in DOC. It is a right they can not take away. The only thing that would negate that is if an inmate does something to have them placed into solitary confinement for fighting etc.

@An Observer, I don't see why an attorney would go to a jail to meet with a client if it wasn't for a pending case.

Exactly -- once the case is over, the lawyers move on to their next case. Readers question, to me, asked if the attorneys would continue to interact with their client if he is in prison.

From WINA talk...defense saying "first violence began with Love and the purse hitting.." But didn't the choking incident that Burns witnessed happen before the purse? Wouldn't that make the defense's statements perjury?

@Kate George - you are correct - go back to the Hook's "Countdown to death: An action timeline of George Huguely V"

February 27, 2010 is when Burns walked in on GHV with YL in a choke hold.

As for the purse incident - that happened a few days prior to her death. Perjury is from a sworn witness.

@An Observer - they may have to continue their interaction if they are also his attorneys for the appeal and wrongful death. So, they may have interaction continued, however, they could be phone calls or Intercomed or Video Conferences too with him. They do have that ability now between jails and law offices and even courts.

Not really breaking my self imposed silenced, due to this strange development and the 3 things:
1} The Hook is superb, the article about Roid Rage was well founded and was from a recognized expert. To not report it would be a dis-serviced. All in the court room had similar thoughts.
2} The comments on the article show that The Hook readers are very smart, no matter their opinion.
3} Please look at this development as it influence the jurors. Now that is the real question!

I have the sniffles too, for what its worth and I see plurality holding out for 1st Degree or Capitol. The minority split for MAN 1, or Murder 2. How this shakes out may be determined from the delay. Too early to predict!

If the case wraps up tomorrow, will the jurors have to deliberate over the rest of the holiday weekend?

Mr. Sutton -- Huh?? Capital murder is not even on the table. Have you been following this case at all? (Your comments above suggest you have been in the courtroom. If so, how could you not know that very significant fact?)

I hope you are referring to an earlier article on steroids, because the most recent one had no expert information what so ever. It was nothing but slanderous speculation -- no news value whatsoever.

@CVille Native...okay, I'll buy that perjury only applies to a sworn witness. What are the legal expectations out of lawyer then relative to accuracy and an established timeline as read into the record by sworn witnesses? Is it contempt of court? Or does anything go?

An Observer February 17th, 2012 | 8:15pm
Just as trespassing is not on the table with punishment, in the jury room some see that it was just that, capitol murder.

In a jury room, if more than one feel he was under charged and feel that strongly, it will be a deterrent to anything less than 1st. Compromised is discouraged, yet it happens.


He will not be granted bail upon appeal.

He is an expert! Well respected and he spoke for himself.

If you have or had ANY contact with the jury then the result will be a mistrial.

If you are just practicing "jury reading," please share with us your qualifications.

Sorry -- criminal defense counsel are not "qualified" to opine on whether one used steroids based on changes in body mass. Even presidents of the state defense bar. Frankly, as a lawyer, I found his statements totally out of line and embarrassing to the profession.

I, for one, have never thought Huguely will walk with time served. And, given that there was no bail in the first instance, there is no shot of bail during any appeal.. It won't be asked for . . . .


If you are a lawyer, then you know how it works and there has never been a mistrial for as you use " observing ".

I have never been in a case with a mistrial other than a hung jury is technically a mistrial.

So, bring on! Not here so you can spin it! I know the rules, you do not! It is my real name, I am very easy to find, hve been for 35 years!

But this may serve as a distraction for a day for you.

Just file in court , heck you can do it, right?

Now, let the others comment and he is an expert! Your view was an opinion your entitled to it.

This ain't about you or me. This is a murder trial and a young woman that died from a homicide with a clearly charge person in custody.

Now ramble on, or contribute.

Do not bait me, I will not distract from Hawes, the JUDGE or the jury! And certainly not from the Love family!

The END!

@Kate George, contempt of court is if there is an order in place and you violate it or if an attorney were to anger a judge in court by becoming beligerant, even with cause, they can be found in contempt of court (or the Judge, which is the ultimate ruler of the court). Or if like me now on Jury term for the county if I failed to show up for the date(s) I was chosen to serve.

Truly, the legal expectations of the defense is to defend their client, even if that means spinning a web of deceit which we have seen in this case. Wasn't there one witness for the defense that actually seemed to testify that YL could still be alive?

Even if GH5 confessed to murder 1 to his attorneys, told them he went over there with the intent to kill her, they are bound by attorney/client privilege not to reveal that information to anyone and give him the best possible defense which would be dismissal or an innocent verdict. An attorney would have to take that knowledge with them through life and to the grave. If not, they would be disbarred. Why I could never be an attorney, right is right and wrong is wrong.

Now, there are good attorneys out there, even in criminal law but each section of law has it's own idiosyncrasies, for lack of a better word there. Attorneys who are general and practice in a variety of circumstances usually are the most well-rounded and know a bit about everything in law. The brightest out there are the copyright and trademark attorneys and they have to be the most creative since most of their arguments are done on paper. Divorce attorneys and Personal Injury have to be the most blood thirsty.

Law is truly a very slippery slope and you now see why the joke, "What do call 1000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A very good start." comes from.

As I recall, the defense offered 3 alternative reasons for death. 1-self inflicted (Miss Love voluntarily chose to head slam the floor or wall); 2-a lethal adderal/ETOH cocktail (already dispelled by the prosecution) & 3-positional asphyxiation. #3 is plausible.

Does anyone know the time Yeardley left to go back to her appartment? One could reasonably assume that she was in bed within 1 hour afterwards if she went straight home (did she?). If so, it is at this time her BAC would have been the hightest. It is at this time one could rationalize that she would have expired from positional asphyxiation. Not ~2 hours after GH5 made his rounds, as it is clear she was alive when he first appeared. So 3 is elimnated.

The Q becomes...could the defense have recently discovered a 4th option? Thus the need to delay, real or otherwise? Does anyone know what Yeardley's toxicology results were? Was there controlled substanes in her system? If only adderal & alcohol were detected, then this trail could end tomorrow.

Kate George- ah, so it was self-defense!

@Gordie, Yes, RQ may be sick, but in bed she certainly has time to comb through other options. That said, is the defense arguing that Love would have been dead whether GHV showed up or not?

For me the entire case hinges on the fact that Love's bedroom was locked and GHV admitted to busting through that barrier to get to her. Then his statement, which is all over the map, full of contradictions and self implications. Finally, she is documented as bloodied and bruised and then dead.

Would she have died of positional asphyxia on her own, or did it take GHV's breaking and entering and beating to get her there...along with a felony theft which just so happened to contain incriminating evidence later disposed of by him.

Mr. Sutton --it would help in the future if you prefaced that your comments are just opinion. I misunderstood your suggestion that you have first-hand info on the jury room. Observe all you want. Comment all you want. You have as much right to that as the rest of us.

I have to confess that it is always frustrating that when in trial reporting the media does not get unbiased lawyers to explain what is going on. The misinformation out there -- a la the Nancy Graces, etc. -- is tough to listen to. I appreciate folks have strong opinions on cases such as this one. But most here had a view before the trial started and seem to be filtering everything through that perspective. Folks should read the special commentary in the Cavalier Daily today. That is probably the best, unbiased, assessment of where we are here.

@Kate George, I so agree with you here. She wouldn't have died had GHV not gone there, now would she?

And there was another reason - stating that the 1st responders caused the blood in the brain and also in an attempt to saving her life, caused her death. But then - they wouldn't be giving her CPR if she had not had the visit from GHV, would they?

@An Observer - I hope you are right that he will not walk with time served, you just never know with a Jury.

The aunt calling him georgie wanted to make me projectile vomit

Alina sanson massaro you are disgusting

Alina sanson was a mean girl in high school
The whole lot of them are wolves
To sit in front of alexia and Sharon love calling him georgie was disgraceful
Dear Alina your nephew is an animal who deserves what a rabid dog deserves

The defense hasn't presented anything that has swayed me into feeling reasonable doubt. The main thing that creates a divide for me is a broken in door. I mean sure, his lies and self contradictions, the "collateral" turned thrown away evidence, these things play a role in my thinking. But I just can't get past that simple broken in door. It says so much.

OK -- one more attempt at explaining legal concepts here --

I don't believe the defense is arguing that their client had no role in what happened to Ms. Love. But the standard in murder cases is higher than "but-for causation" -- I think all agree, as will the jury, that but for Huguely going to Ms. Love's apartment on 5/2/10, she would not have died that night. The distinction between the various charges are what exactly what was Huguely's intent when he went over there and what exactly did he do when he got there? The challenge here is that there are no eye witnesses. The four with and direct knowledge are either dead, were drunk at the operative times, or both. And the evidence does not necessarily match up with Huguely's most incriminating statements. That is a tough hurdle for the prosecution -- but given that on-line opinion is running at least 100 to one against Huguely, they certainly have a shot at murder 1.

There are fine-line legal distinctions between Murder 1, Murder 2, felony murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. To prevail on murder 1 or felony murder the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each and every element of those crimes. If the jury does not unanimously agree the CA did, they will likely find him guilty of one of the lesser offenses. If the jury instructions are posted online at some point, that will be your best road map to the elements of each of the charges.

Ms. George -- you posted while I was typing. If you and I were on the jury, it would end up hung. A drunk, beating down a door to talk, is not conclusive to me. I respect that it is to you, though.

OK you say your an Attorney, I have never ever in my entire life heard Geesh from any woman or man thaat pased a bar exam. NEVER!

I never ever said I or my associates are not in the court room.

I stated, "I know the rules and you do not!"

Enough, if your an attorney use your real name or shut the F_ck Up!
Next time in court with clients say Geesh your honor.

Then get back to me, look me up!
Sorry to Hawes for your comments AO! And, not an opinion, Hawes printed an Experts opinion! A well respected expert!

Some high school skanks 16 in his bedroom
Yeardley had class
Of course she was mad
Oooh her purse
My 4 yr old niece smacks everyone with her purse
We laugh
She was polite to his crazy aunt as it was graduation wend didn't want to cause a scene
Again unlike skanky high schoolers in a 22 mans bedroom or his goldigger aunts had class
Band the tennis player who was her sorority sister snuck behind yeardleys back and slept with her boyfriend and we are supposed to believe anything that skank says
Frankly I cannot believe gibson dun law firm hired that skank although 2 years out of college she's barely a paralegal somewhat laughable coming from one of the best universities Stephanie adjaj loser

Just because he broke in the door, that doesn't mean he intended to kill her. It may shed some light on his mood at the time (gives me the impression he was enraged) but people become enraged all the time without wanting or intending to kill someone.

How embarrassing for that Stephanie girl. She had to confess UNDER OATH to sneaking around with her friend / sorority sister's boyfriend!!! Now the whole world knows!!!

@ An Obsever, nice to have someone with some actual experience grabbing the rudder and steering this rickety boat back on course when necessary. Some posters just don't seem to get that the law deals with specific intentions and actions when it differentiates one crime from another. It is pretty clear that Yeardly Love would not have died that night if George Huguely had not gone to her room. It isn't clear from what I've read that he intended to kill her. He may have, but I think my doubt is reasonable based on what I know. I certainly hope the jurors have been given more complete information than I have and have been paying better attention, so I'll defer to their ultimate decision in the matter. I doubt though that he will be found guilty of murder in the 1st degree. My guess is voluntary manslaughter.

You can safely ignore Michael Sutton by the way. His most lucid posts have had him claiming to be in LA, although he also claims at times to be employed in some capacity in the legal profession. It is possible there is some truth to the latter claim since the writing skills he demonstrates taken alone would not entirely disqualify him from coming in after hours to tidy up an office. No telling how true the residency claim is, although I believe it. His "self imposed silence" of late has been quite a blessing by contrast with his previous M.O. which was to post completely incoherent drivel every few minutes for hours on end. He was one of the wave of non-locals drawn to comment here by the Morgan Harrington disappearance. If you missed him at the time, just google "s jones," his earlier moniker which seems to have been banned, and her name.

It is 11:08 PM and if have just had the opportunity to read all the comments that were written while I was out for a long walk, at a dinner party, watching CNN and reading a Grisham novel. It feels like I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out. To the dueling lawyers, grow up! I sounds as if you both have lawyer envy. I bet you both wanted to be Perry Mason or on LA Law.

The dinner party was a gathering of many diverse and interesting people. The "UVA murder trial", as we refer to it out here in the country, was topic A around the dinner table. The dinner guests had lots of opinions about the case. GH5 didn't get any awards for his performance. Most felt very sorry for YL's family and for the tawdry things said about her and others. There was much discussion about the defense bar. Neither RQ nor FMCQL received any positive comments. The absence of RQ for "illness" was regarded by several guests as "convenient". Long story short, a lot of people out here will be most interested in the outcome.

Anyone want to bet that the next Grisham novel will have many elements of this case? It is just too good for a writer of legal fiction to pass up.

To Cville Native, while my life has been most interesting, it has not yet been the subject of a movie or a book. Most of the positive parts of my life have had a lot more to do about showing up than any skill on my part.

How long the trial will last is a complex question. But it will end sooner or later. Good chance of an appeal.

For some reason, Yogi Berra has been on my mind tonight. He once said that, "If you don't go to other peoples' funerals, there is a good chance they won't go to your funeral." This whole affair feels like a funeral that has no end. Too many lives ruined, too many reputations damaged, too many people have died.

It is now 11:40 PM. Time to get some sleep and to clear the mind. Justice will be done, and we will all move on.

Michael Sutton, you're an attorney?

Perhaps you should learn the proper usage of the words 'your' and 'you're'. Wow.

I am surprised both by An Observer and Get A Clue that you give extra credence to what GHV himself allegedly intended --"only went there to talk"--but dismiss his actions as those of a merely enraged drunkard when what he actually did was break through a door and beat a woman to death. It would be like using, "I only went to the store to shop, it's not my fault that it became armed robbery."

We play this game where intent resides solely in the mind, in an abstract realm inaccessible to any other person.

Intent is action when the organizing principals of one's being are put to the service of a direct end. If I fall down the stairs, the probability is that it was an accident. If I punch or kick a hole in a door, reach in and unlock it, and then go in, it would be very difficult to see that as anything other than the intention to enter the room no matter what barriers were put in my way. There is nothing accidental, nor might I add, disorganized (so drunk one couldn't figure out how to move limbs toward a desired end) about it.

Yes, actions speak to state of mind, but they also deliver the narrative of facts. There is nothing factual that we can point to that corroborates GHV's alleged mere "desire to talk." I have never heard of a person who "simply wants to talk," or has been alleged in GHVs case, wanted to "talk, patch things up, work things out" who begins by beating a door in. People who want to talk go hat in hand, with humility, with respect for the other person. They don't begin their salvo of reconciliation by using a battering ram to gain entry. His alleged intention falls apart not because I think I can "get in his head" but because I can point to his actions which don't square with his claim to an innocent attempt at a peace summit.

Ms. George -- all very rational. But I interpret the evidence as showing Huguely was too drunk to think rationally that night. I really do respect that you disagree.

I have had experience with drunk college students. There is a reason there is a run on drywall patch and mud at the end of every school year as they tend to break walls, doors, etc., with abandon when they are drunk.

Kate, the question is not whether Huguely intended to have a peace summit, nor is the question whether he intended to enter a room. The question is whether he intended to kill. No possible combination of answers to the other two questions answers that question.

Well put Saywha?!

Yes, he was drunk. But if that gives him a pass on intent, it is the same as saying, "Hey guys, b1tch got ya down? Just tie one on and beat your girl silly. Hell, kill her, man. And then just cop the Huguely plea. 'It wasn't me your honor, it was the booze talking'. And the booze has some mighty loud fists'" And then count on the courts to rubber stamp your acquittal.

Given the way things are going for women in the Commonwealth right now, this would be in line with increasingly disturbing rulings against women. But it is a very slippery slope.

GHV was a big bodied man in 2010, and a serial drinker. His body size and practiced tolerance means his alleged drunkenness was not likely as impairing to him as to others with less girth and experience. People intend a great many things when they are drunk. They may not like the outcome, or consequences, but they intended them all the same. While there is some precedent for drunkenness as a mitigating factor, it is by no means a decided legal point.

There were many points in the night when GHV could have changed course. The bottom line is that he didn't change course. He took his rage at Love to it' denouement.

As to what we have to work with, his statement to police is riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions. Why does he deserve any benefit of the doubt here, a person, Love, is dead!

He is no special case for being "promising" or having his whole life ahead of him. He is a woman beater, plain and simple. He intend to be a woman beater because he beat a woman. And now she's dead and he has one hell of a hangover. "The drink made me do it," is far fetched at best, and a dangerous course for our state at worst.

GHV knew where she lived, knew where he lived that night. He knew enough to steal incriminating evidence, and knew enough to try to dispose of it. He knew enough to lie about his whereabouts that night to his pals. His problem wasn't a failure to intend. His problem was intending too much.

I am not an attorney, no attorney would ever post during a trial.
See, it was not I that claimed that, and the one that did should report to the bar.

I am a citizen of the United States of America. Born on Union Avenue in Memphis. Not to far from where J. Grisham was born. He knows I and my father, don't mean squat. But he also knows about juries.

From Arkansas, Southhaven, Memphis to Virginia the court rooms are open to those who took a 7th grade civics course AND PASSED!

As others posted, the door is huge! As to the jury, thats what your missing.

Every distraction to them is what you fail to see.

I am not an Attorney, But I have been staying at a Holiday Inn Express.


Only 13 people count, hope they get it right!

Saywha, he killed. Short of multiple eye witnesses hearing (or a person writing) their intention to kill, all other intention to kill is inferred by actions that lead to the killing. "I had my hands around her neck, I squeezed until she turned blue and stopped breathing. All that worked fine, but I never intended to actually kill her, man."

Intention is, in part, action. There is very reason to see intent in GHVs actions, from the regret expressed in email that he should have killed her when he had the chance, to making good on that late that sad Sunday. Nothing about his actions read as an " unfortunate accident." Nothing. It all reads as deliberate, and when you throw the computer theft and disposal in there and add the phony alibi to the roommate in there, it looks downright methodical.

Accident? Yeah, his foot kicked the door in all by itself then hung out with Love while she beat her own head against the wall. Then his hands (but not his head) stole the computer. Boy, this guy really is a wunderkind. By all means, spare him for he good of the human race. Maybe he Could bludgeon some other women and thin the gosh darned herd.

This trial is unique.

He did it, he kick the door down. He took the laptop.


From all accounts he claimed PDR knowledge of every conceivable drug and combinations.

All the Man had to do was say yes! I killed her! I did not intend to, your honor. I will take responsibility and I loved her please I beg for mercy on sentencing.


He would have gotten 12 years. Instead he drags her family 18 months later into a courtroom and his team tries to put all of his faults on her!

Any real Man, which lost his true love, would not make a spectacle and put into record every single choice she made.

It is disgusting to the point of his credibility. He is not credible! It is as if he saying if I go down I am taking down your family with me.

What a gentleman! Not to mention the cost of the trial to citizens.

As to UVA, they are no more responsible than General Motors when there is a vehicular homicide due to driving while impaired.

This all nonsense and maneuvering for sentencing.

Seems the judge gets it, and why the man and his family dragged it out is because of denial and or the afraid for their poor defenseless little boy.
He isn’t a little boy. They chose to roll the dice on the taxpayer’s credit.

He should settle today for 20, if the state could bend. If not, he should get the max on every single count consecutively and stop this travesty to the family of his so called only woman ever to be with!

A coward should suffer more than a man that takes responsibility.

Unless I am mistaken--and I could very well be so expect (and request) that those more knowledgeable than I will weigh in--unlike many other states,in the Commonwealth intoxication may be offered as a basis upon which to assert reasonable doubt that a defendant was able to form intent--or better, premeditate--in charges of murder. [The same legal standard does not apply for other criminal offenses.]

The question remains (as aptly posed some time ago, compliments of/to Kate George): "...can that reasonable doubt really be raised in light of prior violence against Love, the e-mail, and the loud manner in which he approached the apartment, and the violence that erupted almost instant?"

I again refer back to the following written by Lloyd Snook, legal analyst and local defense attorney. Snook writes in part:

"The defense...will focus on three issues of fact:

How drunk was he?
When he went into Yeardley Love’s apartment, did he intend to do anything other than talk/argue with her? In particular, did he go in with the intent to steal her laptop?
How exactly did she die?

Here’s why these matter.

First, as a general matter intoxication is not a defense to a criminal charge. The defendant can’t say, “Judge, I know I’m charged with shoplifting that watch, but man, was I drunk! I didn’t mean to take it — I was just so messed up!” That is not a defense. The one exception is in a first-degree murder case. The defense can argue, “I was so drunk, I couldn’t possibly have formed the intent to kill her.” The distinction is sometimes said to be that intoxication is a not a defense to a general criminal intent, but it can be a defense to the Commonwealth’s burden of proof on premeditation.

But there is a somewhat more subtle point here. The Commonwealth doesn’t have any witness who will say, “George Huguely told me that he was going over there to kill her.” So they will have to argue on the basis of circumstantial evidence that he must have meant to kill her. One line of argument that they will rely on is based on a jury instruction that the judge will give that the jury can infer that the defendant intended the ordinary consequences of his intentional acts. To put it more baldly, if George Huguely intentionally did something that caused her death, we can conclude that he intended that she die. In other words, the fact that she died as a result of something that he did to her can be evidence all by itself that suggests that he meant for her to die.

But when the Commonwealth is basing its case on this attempt to assess what George Huguely knew, or what he observed, and whether the reasonable person in his situation would have realized what was going on, the question then becomes whether he was a “reasonable” person. The evidence will strongly suggest that he was drunk. The toxicologists will testify that someone who is drunk won’t observe as closely as someone who is sober. Someone who is drunk won’t mentally process conflicting bits of information in the same way as someone who is sober. One fact that the Commonwealth will talk about is that after George Huguely left Yeardley Love in her room, she apparently lived for up to two more hours. The argument will be made that he must have meant for her to die, because he left her alone and bleeding, and over the next two hours she died when she could easily have been saved.

But if Huguely was drunk and was not aware in the same way as a sober person would be of what was happening around him, perhaps we shouldn’t say that he is just as responsible as someone who was stone cold sober and who realized that she had suffered a serious, bleeding wound and left her alone to die. The argument will be made in terms of the jury instruction that says that intoxication can be a defense to premeditation, but don’t be surprised if the argument occasionally morphs.

The second point is to ask why he broke down her door. He is charged with burglary, which requires proof that he broke and entered into her property in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony or larceny. It is not burglary if he broke down the door with the intent of getting into an argument, or with the intent even to slap her in the face or punch her in the mouth (typically, those would just be assault, which is not a felony). He had no weapon. He wasn’t carrying a sack to take away things that he might steal. The defense will say, “Find him guilty of illegal entry. But don’t find him guilty of burglary, because he didn’t have the intent to steal when he went in.” But wait, you say — he took her laptop when he left! But that turns the question back to his intent when he went in — not when he left. Can the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to steal anything when he went in? In his first statement to the police, George Huguely told the police that he took the laptop because he wanted to force her to come talk to him — “collateral,” he called it.

And in the confusing morass of criminal charges here, this question of burglary turns out to be key. George Huguely is charged with two different kinds of murder. He is charged with first-degree murder — an allegation that he intended to kill her and he did. He is also charged with felony murder (lawyer purists note — this is not the same as Model Penal Code and law school felony murder — more on that later), which is defined as follows:

The killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act other than those specified in §§ 18.2-31 and 18.2-32, is murder of the second degree.

Virginia Code §18.2-33. The felonious acts specified in those two sections are “arson, rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration, robbery, burglary or abduction.” So if the Commonwealth can prove that George Huguely caused the death of Yeardley Love while he was committing a burglary, it wouldn’t matter whether he intended to kill her or not — he’d still be guilty of second degree murder and he could still get up to 40 years in the penitentiary.

Let’s take one more step down into the rabbit hole here.

If the Commonwealth cannot prove that George Huguely intended to steal or to commit a serious assault when he broke in to Yeardley Love’s apartment, they have no burglary. If the Commonwealth also cannot prove that he intended to kill her, they have only manslaughter. If he killed her accidentally, and without an intent to kill her, this may end up as a manslaughter charge, punishable by up to 10 years."

something fairly interesting to note (it is documented in a DC magazine article) is that George IV forced his way into the family home after he and Marta divorced and would not leave - essentially taking up residence until Marta had to take the kids to her sister's home. Doesn't this scenario sound vaguely famaliar flashing forward?

micheal - you have my attention! Tell me more why an attorney should never post during a trial. Explain it to me in small mind language.

hook reader, I thought the same thing when I read that bit about GH4. Of course, YL bursting (uninvited) into GH5's room to confront him about the high school girls/texting other girls, (and GH5 asking her to leave) reminded me of the scenario, too.

Bursting into an apartment wielding a purse, kicking in a door, and even putting someone in a choke hold -- those were the dysfunctional ways GH5 and YL employed when one of them wanted to talk. That's exactly how Love described the choke hold incident: "Love later told Burns that Huguely wanted to talk but she was resisting, Burns said."

This coupleh

This couple had major communication problems, to put it lightly.

Kate George, may I ask why you keep speculating that he may have had a high tolerance for alcohol when there are no end to the witness accounts about what a big fat obnoxious drunk GH5 was all the time, right up to and including that fateful day?

I see how George's intent has not been proven and is very difficult to prove, seeing as it appears he went into a rage and she ended up dead and who can really know his intent but him?

But at the point where he covered her up with the comforter and stole her that point he must have been aware that he beat the crap out of her. And so in my mind leaving her at that point in time is the point of most moral culpability (instead of calling for help). Especially when you are the cause of their distress. Though I understand that the law probably won't back me up there.

But that doesn't help with intent. Because of the alcohol they can argue that he knew not what he did and so could not assess that situation appropriately. Though taking the computer kind of nixes that in my mind - not that he knew that he killed her, but he knew that he beat the crap out of her, and he failed to get her any help. And instead chose to attempt to cover his own butt the best he could.

But really, I think most men know, drunk or not drunk, that no matter what your intentions, when you beat on someone that much smaller than you, it's not going to turn out well. It's just very sad, on YL's behalf, that so much hinges on intent.

According to published reports this morning, Ms. Quagliana will return to court this morning. The defense only has two remaining (medical expert) witnesses; following that the defense will rest and His Honor will issue what can be expected to be very lengthy jury instructions. Only after will the jury retire to commence deliberations.

I am candidly surprised that the defense has brought forth so few (or relatively few) witnesses. I have not believed from the outset that they had a strong case; however, I somehow expected them to bring forth more witnesses, especially medical experts to refute the state's various claims.

Would they bring his alcohol use into play during the defense?

@waiting and waiting: I agree; this rests upon the jury to decide if they collectively believe that GH had established intent to either murder Yeardley (first degree murder) or intent to commit a robbery or larceny (felony murder). I remain doubtful on count one and hopeful on count two

BTW: You raised a point I noted when listening to several of the prosecution's witnesses, but rarely (if ever) saw mentioned in any media reports, i.e., Yeardley was reported by the two individuals who first found her to be covered "halfway up her back" with her comforter.

I've always wondered about the position of the comforter. Are we to believe that Yeardley pulled it up herself and, laying face down on her pillow, fell asleep and/or lapsed into unconsciounsess before she died?

More importantly--and something I again keyed on but have read zero reports of--was the position of Yeardley's arms when she was first found in the bed. On the first day of the prosecution's case this young female witness both described Yeardley's arms as "straight down at her sides" and, after being asked by the CA to demonsrate it, stood up by the witness stand and placed her arms straight down her sides, mimicking Yeardley's position in the bed upon discovery.

Like the comforter, I have wondered just how many people lay face down in bed, arms straight down by their sides, and go to sleep. It is conceivable that Yeardley did so; i.e., following her "wrestling" (as described by GH) with GH, she calmly laid down, face down, pulled the comforter halfway up her back, and slipped both arms back underneath the comforter, placing them straight down by her sides.

It is not inconceivable...but I would bet you a quarter...or a very, very large bag of did not happen quite that way.

That comforter and the position of those arms have baffled (and troubled) me since the opening day of this trial.

YeardleyWasMurdered.... Were you drunk when you wrote that? That was weird!

Citizen- the comforter has always baffled me as well along with the balled up t-shirt with no blood on it. If she really was standing when he left- before he allegedly shoved her on the bed... Was she still somewhat coherent- coherent enough to put herself to bed? Was she bleary from alcohol and from being banged up, and crawled under her covers and because of her condition landed in the unfortunate face-down manner? Still it doesnt add up that she could have removed the shirt because it would have likely passed by blood on her body and picked it up. The shirt had to come off before getting banged up. So why did it come off? Did he try to get action at first and was rebuffed and that fueled his already full blown drunken rage?

Never been able to get my head around that bloodless t-shirt.... And the position in bed...

Sorry, but this defense case was a joke. Not sure these two did anything at all to defend their client.

The reason GHVs tolerance to alcohol matters to me is that he was a practiced drunk, and practiced drunks function at a higher level than non practiced drunks. Yes, several witnesses found GHV to be wasted throughout the day. But interestingly none cared enough about him, his safety, welfare or reputation to intervene to ensure his safety. None testified to stopping everything in order to save an out of control GHV from himself. So it's hearsay...sure, he was drunk, but he stayed in the golf game, his dad was okay with him drinking more at dinner, etc. This points to the fact that he didn't fall down bleary eyed and incoherent, he didn't pass out on the streets, or even at home. He stayed highly functioning throughout.

Then when he goes to Love's we do not have a guy who has the inability to compute basic facts. The door is locked, he's not being let in. How does an enraged guy with very probable murderous intent get through a locked door? Two words, " Here's Johnny!"

He has the wherewithal to steal the one thing in the room that points to his prior intent --the computer with the e-mails. Though he makes excuses for the computer the next day, the night of, he has the sense to dispose of the evidence he's just stolen. He has enough cognizance to concoct a story about his whereabouts, concealing the truth from his friends.

These are all deliberate, methodical actions designed to look out for GHV, from his machismo (retaliation against Love's taunts with the beating) to the theft to to the disposal to the phony alibi. This is not the picture of a man on he verge of a fall into he gutter or unable to recall where he lived or who he is. Where someone who was a light drinker might have been unable to form intent after a rare binge, a serial binge drinker learns to function normally amidst high blood alcohol level. There's nothing new or unique about such an assessment.

It's worth remembering here that a jury decides not on the basis of doubt that appears from wildly concocted counter scenarios, or beyond any doubt proposed, but beyond a reasonable doubt. The doubt must be reasonable. Given their volatility, his tolerance to alcohol, his prior verbalized threats, and his actions at midnight that night, it is not a reasonable doubt that alleged drunkenness impaired him beyond any reasoning capacity and threw him into the state of a total non functioning and non observing individual.

The utterly methodical nature of his other actions within that 20 minute period run in stark contrast to a picture of a fumbling, blotto, out of it guy. Whatever he may have done during the day on Sunday, by midnight he was cogent enough to see his actions through from targeting his destination, gaining entry, committing the crimes, disposing of evidence, returning home, and forging an alibi. Then he went off to dreamland, utterly unbothered by what had happened. Of the barriers to intent that might have inhibited him, drink wasn't one.

Thank you Citizen for that concise explanation of the legal charges above -- I think you fairly laid out the Commonwealth's burdens here. Only one quibble, if there is a conviction on the felony murder -- either through burglary or robbery -- it is murder 1, not murder 2. Murder 2 is not charged by the Commonwealth, but it is a lesser included offense of Murder 1 that the jury could come back with if they think the conduct falls between murder 1 and manslaughter.

The burglary charge raises the issues you spelled out. Robbery, I think, might be a little easier to get the jury to buy, since he did take the laptop. The reasons he took it can be important, but putting it in the dumpster hurts the argument that he didn't intend to deprive Ms. Love of the use forever (an element of the offense). That is were the value comes in. If it was not worth $200 in May 2010, taking it is not a felony. I am surprised the CA didn't get a better witness on this. Maybe he will in rebuttal. But I wouldn't be surprised that a likely 4 year old Dell lap top was not worth $200. Especially given the very hard use the average college student makes of a computer.

On the defense -- one should keep in mind the job of the defense. They don't have to prove an alternative theory of the case, and the facts here don't lend themselves to that kind of a defense. The defendant was at the scene of the crime. There are no eyewitnesses to the altercation, and their client was drunk (and made incriminating statements to the police). The defense's job here is to create doubt about pieces of the CA's case. The CA has the burden of proving each and every element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the defense does not have to prove what did happen, only that the CA's case does not TOTALLY add up.

IMO, that is as it should be. The prosecution has a huge advantage in controlling the initial investigation, state controlled experts, getting to pick and choose what charges to bring, etc. -- so they should be held to that high a standard.

One last point, it is the prosecution's job to put evidence in the record regarding the defendant's alcohol tolerance if they plan to argue Ms. George's point. Maybe that is coming on rebuttal. The jury must not speculate on that unless some evidence is offered by the prosecution on that point. Again, the state controlled the evidence here, but they didn't bother to take a BAC when they arrested him. (Of course it would have been down from the night before unless he continued drinking -- maybe he did.)

I want to bring up a point that I've mentioned before, so forgive the repetition.

We have, as a society, come to accept as truth what is really only a common notion, but not the law at all. That is that the defense must say and do anything in order to beat he rap lest it is " not doing its job." Wrong. That the accused is entitled to, in fact has the right to, a defense, means that they do not get accused without undergoing due process of law before a judgement is rendered. They have the right to face their accuser, be represented at trial, and offer their side of things. These rights and guarantees are not the same as concocting wild imaginings or saying anything to worm out of culpability. Yes, you are innocent until proven guilty, and that's as it should be. Beyond a reasonable doubt cuts both ways. It is neither fair for the prosecution to manufacture wild stories any more than it is fair for the defense to plant bizarrely untenable " doubts" in order to avoid punishment for a crime their client committed.

Now, do observers and stakeholders alike behave as if the defense's sacred duty is to say anything in order to win? Yes. But do ot mistake this with the law saying that the defense must say or do anything in order to try to get their client off scot free. In fact, their job is to ensure that the system works fairly as regards the defendant's right to be present at trial and given their opportunity to share their honest take on events.

That we've come to not only accept the " say anything to beat the rap" notion of a defense attorney's job, but to believe that he is charged by law to say anything to beat the rap is a gross statement of our society's descent into a maelstrom of moral equivalences that don't square with the self- elevated notion we have about ourselves as Americans, and actually don't square with the law or bar either.

citizen - I agree about the position of the arms - very strange. And the whole thing about the comforter is that I just don't think anyone who is as badly beaten as she was would even be thinking about pulling a comforter onto themselves. And so that detail was very chilling to me.

observer - my memory may be wrong, but I thought she had a mac, not a dell, and that may up the value. But correct me if I'm wrong.

I believe he took the laptop for no other reason than to make it look like a burglary. He was hoping the police would think someone beat her to death in order to get the laptop. And that's why he dumped it. But nevertheless, he stole it, so if that's the only thing that pushes the charges up to M1, I sure hope it sticks!

Waiting -- I read it was a Dell. But not being in the courtroom, I don't know for sure.

Ms. George -- you are over reaching here. No one said that. You made up your mind that this case was murder 1 before a single piece of testimony was given, and you have eloquently explained your opinion in these comment threads. You have made it abundantly clear you don't believe there is any defense to what you are convinced the defendant did. I have no idea why you are so invested in that single outcome. That is your right, but it is good for justice that you are not on the jury. They may well come back with a verdict of guilty of murder 1. If they do, I hope it is based on careful consideration of every piece of evidence in this case and not because some juror misrepresented his or her prior opinion of the case and brow beat the others into acquiescing in it.

I respect those here who are arguing that intent may not be proven but I also agree with Ms. George here on the actions of the defendant prior to and after the event. Actions speak louder than words and also inaction does too.

@Janis - so agree, I can't wrap my head around the t-shirt either. GH5 states she was wearing it when he saw her that night and then it was balled up in a corner of the room without blood?

I also agree with the position of her when her room mate found her and the comforter. It makes no sense either. As a stomach sleeper myself - my arms are not beside me like that - usually under my pillow and head. It appears she was not conscious when she hit the bed and covered up with the comforter in an effort to conceal her condition.

And Ms. George does have a very good point, from knowing alcoholics, they have a very high tolerance and can function so much better under the influence. (I once knew someone who drove better under the influence than not!) They may not recall all of what they said or did, but that doesn't mean they had no intent to say or do what they did. And I would state GH5 is an alcoholic here based upon witnesses testimony. In fact, that was one of the reasons, perhaps major reason, for this relationship to be as it was.

The jury will have to decide this all - and I so hope they reach a decission here because obviously if we were all on the jury - we would be hung.

observer - that stinks about the dell. Because you're right - if it was about 4 years old and a dell, there's just no way it will rise to the $200 mark. And it really stinks that the case may hinge on that detail.

On the balled up shirt my guess is she slept topless and when he burst thru she grabbed the first thing she saw to cover up instinctively. It then got thrown aside as they tussled.

I can't get out of my own head the vision of him bursting in her room, her running for her desk which is where she probably kept her phone, which of course, he had, and realizing she was defenseless against this brute.

I actually didn't make my mind up without a shred of knowledge of the case. I watched it unfold, saw what was known, and my conviction of his guilt grew with added testimony and evidence.

That said, I do believe based on law that if he is found guilty it is more lely to be murder 2 than 1 . I however believe he obsessed on her, and did intend to kill her. People can intend to kill and then be dumbstruck when they really get their wish.

But yes, the jury will decide. But I would bet that if/ when he's out of jail, he'll be a serial offender against women. It would be interesting for The Hook to do a story on the rate of cure, if you will, for women beaters. ( And yes, sometimes women beat men, but the stats are overwhelmingly tipped in the other direction.) And for the record I've never been beaten, but there's a lot of sexism, racism, and classism in this case. I am interested in justice here.

Shay- and then Ms. Love instinctively started to bang her head against the wall........and waited for the EMT's to finish the job.......perfect reasonable doubt tactic

I have been in this type of relationship. It is horrible and unacceptable and I have many, many issues that I struggle with 10+ years later.

We were the same age as YL and GH5 and the similarities are extremely frightening!! Young, stupid and drunk are never a good combination. But had my EX managed to kill me, I would not want him to rot in jail for the rest of his life for murder. He was not a killer!! We brought out the absolute worst in each other and we would have knock-down drag outs, but I know without a doubt in my mind that he would never have intentionally killed me (I suspect that is the case for GH5 but that is just MY opinion).

Interesting conversation here. Based on what I've seen and read of the evidence, and I haven't been in the courtroom, I think I would fall into the voluntary manslaughter as a juror. I just don't think that he intended to go there and kill her.

I think for a lot of us, your perspective comes from your position in life. I'm a UVA alum, roughly 10 years removed from graduation. Most people I knew in college drank a LOT and I've often thought about how lucky we were that no one was ever seriously hurt from something stupid.

I clearly think GHV's behavior went WAY beyond drunken stupidity, but it seems like these two had a very dysfunctional relationship....that went both ways. Yeardley absolutely did NOT deserve what happened to her, but I just don't think there's been enough evidence to show that he went there intending to kill her.

Kate George - I'm said there was a lot of sexism, racism and classism in this case. I can definitely understand the sexism and classism....but what racism are you thinking of?

"I actually didn't make my mind up without a shred of knowledge of the case. I watched it unfold, saw what was known, and my conviction of his guilt grew with added testimony and evidence."

Kate G, That certainly does imply as Observer noted that you made up your mind at the outset or at the very least before hearing all the arguments. That is your prerogative as someone whose only involvement is making comments online, I agree though with Observer's statement that "it is good for justice that you are not on the jury." I hope that if you ever do find yourself called for jury duty that you either make your biases known or resolve to hear all of the evidence before forming an opinion.

@Kate Burg...on racism I think that if the defendant were black, there would be no question of involuntary manslaughter. There would be no concern that he was a "promising" person with "his whole life before him," and no concern whatsoever for the troublesome conditions of his early home life or circumstances that would lead to addiction or violent outbursts. His violence would just be seen as his violence, and his patterns of abuse as simply a person who was not focused on living a decent life. All of the coddling being given to GHV in this forum, all of the understanding and compassion, I can't imagine ever being expressed for a black guy accused of the same crime, even if he was black and from money.

...and I don't even think we'd be talking about the case at all if GHV was black or low-income white.

@saywha? - truly I couldn't be on this Jury and I know it. I have followed it from the beginning and media is now bias, I know this and there had been just too much brought out by the media that I formed an opinion.

However, I do have an open mind and can be, with evidence of hearing about a case (or any other issue) be swayed to another opinion all together. There are many in this area who would never have been able to sit on the Jury for this case, why they pulled 160 to go through to be on this jury.

I wouldn't say that Kate George couldn't be a jury on any case and I am positive she agrees not on this one either.

I couldn't set aside my personal feelings to make a judgement in this case, I admit it. It doesn't make me less of a human being. I also have an issue with ALL murder cases out there because the time the convicted receive is less than a drug dealer. That too me is sick.

@Kate - your probaby right it if this case was about anyone else from other walks of life it wouldn't get the media play it has. However, recall the Abshire case? - it receoved lots of press too and was even featured on Unsolved Mysteries (I believe).

I feel like I did listen with an open mind both when the case first came out in 2010, and now, to what the prosecution and GHV & his defense were/are saying. But, for example, as the last two weeks progressed, it was tough to hear the GHV statement to police, such as it was through the media, that Love beat her own head against the wall, and then certain unprovoked statements of his like, "I didn't hit her," "I didn't strangle her," which felt more like admissions of guilt, or trying to convince himself that he "couldn't" possibly have done it.

I also had a hard time with the crib death theory. It aroused for me the question, Was Love destined to die that night of some form of smothering/asphyxiation no matter what, or did a brutal, surprise beating lead to her cessation of oxygen from which she couldn't come back?

Similarly I had to weight GHVs profession that he went there to talk against a door being busted in and Love awoken from a sleep....and she ends up dead.

I weighed GHVs insistence that Love was awake, standing, and staring right at him against the fact that he then stole the computer, and she did nothing to stop him; nor, when standing, after he left, did anything to help herself with her injuries, injuries so bad that they left her dead within hours. Then I had to ask, if he had effectively knocked her out (enabling him to steal the computer), Does this indicate that he knowingly, with both malice and reckless disregard for human life, leave her without seeking help for her injuries. I weighed this against him saying she had a mere bloody nose, but again, if she was awake and with only mild injuries, why didn't she seek help or stop the theft? This kept leading me back to the sense that he knocked her out and knew it.

I weighed the notion that she passively suffered asphyxiation against GHVs other statement that he put her in the bed and said, "Go to bed." In fact, was that not another form of intentional smothering, especially given the position of her body?

I weighed his statements of innocently seeking reconciliation against the violence present in that room, and then against his lie about his whereabouts to his pals moments later.

In the end, the defense side of things just didn't add up —painting GHV as a kind former lover seeking a gentle midnight make-up conversation, and then disregarding the broken in door to paint the encounter in Love's room as mutual, the product of folks with a tumultuous romantic history, effectively making them both culpable when she was on the receiving end of a violent intruder. I also had a hard time with the defense saying that the purse incident was the first time anyone had been "hit" in the relationship, when in fact, literalism aside, GHVs choking incident happened months before...and that's just what we know about.

I was thinking about GHV this morning in church, asking myself about guilt, doubt, and judgement. In the end, though it is not for me to render a verdict on which his future hinges, I do not feel bad for believing he should be convicted of murder. Having compassion for him is, to me, the same as having compassion for all people. I have it. But that is beside the point. This is an issue of actions and consequences, and the pivot of a civil society and the rule of law that must be upheld.

I'm not actually a crime junkie. This is the first case I've taken an interest in in years. I ask myself why this one? Why do I care? It may be because I am the mother of daughters, and I was curious about college life and dating violence today ( much has changed over the past few decades aided by 24/7 media, social media, and changing mores) and because of the class issue: would GHV be treated as part of the 1% not only for money, but because of "promise" and good looks, and athleticism. It's a curious thing.

You make a lot of good points, Kate George. And I can tell you've really put a lot of thought into this. I think I would probably see things a bit differently if I was a parent of teens or college-age children.

I really haven't seen many people talking about George's promise or future though. From the witness testimony I've read, it really seems that most people thought he was a drunken, out of control fool. I thought this blog that Lloyd Snook wrote was really interesting, and I can relate, being a relatively recent alum:

It will be interesting to see what the jury comes back with. I am really not a fan of the 3 day break before deliberations begin....and I doubt either side of lawyers are either.

Ms. George, I completely understand where you are coming from and I hope you will use this horrific example as a way to educate your daughters on domestic violence (as I'm sure you have/will as you are obviously intelligent).

It's imperative that parents instill this in their children (daughters AND sons) as early as possible. I certainly knew it was wrong, but I was extremely sheltered growing up and I was nieve in that it seemed like something that would play out in a movie and not real life. When I found myself in a tumultuous relationship, I had NO idea how to deal with it, nor did any of our friends (whom continuously witnessed it during the 4 year stint).

@Kate B, there were just a few people on here talking about his promise, and his whole life before him, and how it's tragic for them both. All of that may be true, but as I said, essentially beside the point.

@Get a Clue...I haven't said much to my daughters yet. My rule has always been that they couldn't date until they were 16. My aim has been, as I have told them, that I am more interested in their own personal self-development, their interests, hobbies, passions, schoolwork, and there will be time enough for dating and serious relationships later. Fortunately this has been something they both accepted readily. One will be a senior next year and is eying her college prospects, UVa among them. I'll definitely begin to inch these things into conversation becasue like you said, w/out preparation, a kid can find themselves in an abusive relationship and not know what to do. I'll definitely instill that if anyone ever hits you, or even if they appear to have emotional abuse issues, end it right there and then because odds are it will never get better w/ the emotional abuse, and as afar as I know, never, ever improve in physical violence (though I'd still be interested in a Hook article on that topic.)

Kate George- great point about your daughters.............and food for thought.

Why did no one else say anything to anyone and the relationship? Clearly friends, profs, coaches, admin saw it all happening......or were they all so self-absorbed that it meant nothing to them to perhaps save a life. Perhaps they thought that informing someone else would appear as though they were medeling and maybe be dismissed.

@SkipD, I wondered the same thing. And, 've been rather disparaging about the allegedly noble proposition that his pals intended to intervene—only not until the season was over. To me, they just sound like co-alcoholics. They'll intervene after the season just like a drunk will stop drinking after tonight, or the wedding, or the next big party. I believe "after the season" would have turned into "after finals" and then "after graduation" and then...well, we're each going our own way, and we all drank a lot. Now we're getting jobs, Huguely'll probably be alright, man."

The bottom line is those concerned enough to intervene, to protect him, hell, to protect her, would have intervened. Does this mean it wasn't serious enough? That they didn't really care enough? That it was said in passing but there was never a formal meeting convened?

The bottom line is they didn't intervene. In fact they probably enabled, and even suffer from some gradient of alcoholism themselves. They don't bear actual culpability in Love's death, but a kind of spiritual culpability they do. Each should try to atone for that in life in some way, by moving from thought to action the next time a friend or loved one exhibits signs of a drinking or abusive problem in some way.

@Skip D: because UVA uses the FERPA guidelines to hide incidents! Even if George had been brought up on administrative charges, UVA would not release that information and if the accusers did not come forward publicly to share their stories, there would be no way to uncover them. I do believe that these issues may have been brought forward and the school quickly dismissed them. There would be no way to validate this comment ....except to use other well known cases to illustrate my point, such as the Russell girl's rape and the fact that that man raped another girl 6 months later, UVA administrators knew all about the man's deviant behavior and previous arrests, yet still did nothing.

@ Kate - athletes live by different standards. My son was an athlete and had a hard time navigating the UVA way of life. Recent peer-on-peer training to the athletes was a joke. My son told me that after a presentation for the young men about respecting women, many of the male athletes were confused about where to "draw the line" (ie what does it really mean when she says no) and rather than the coaches taking a hard line, they joined in the laughter and began to tell stories about the old days when they were students. My son was appalled. The University is a closed system and it has to take a zero tolerance stance on all forms of assault. Until Sullivan musters up the backbone to do so, George and his cohorts will continue to victimize women without fear of being arrested or kicked out of school.

It's just like so many other things in life...if each person had done "one more thing" Yeardley would still be alive. And Chapman used a few of those instances in his closing remarks.

Also, as far as the delay, I bet it works in favor of the prosecution and here's why: all the words spoken by both sides for, by all accounts, 3 hours, have come and gone, the jury was so tired, they stopped listening. But what will stick with those jurors in their time off, is the picture of a young woman beaten to a pulp by an angry young man.

Kate George and Pam-

Personal intervention does a heck of a lot more than reporting it to some "group"- period.

If "you" see a parent hitting and yelling at a child, do "you" do anything, or report it?

Personally, I have done something right then and there and don't care what the parent thinks- they do get the point for sure..............and perhaps it helps.

Pam -- Is your son a current or past UVa student athlete? If past, how long ago? Have you considered contacting Mrs. Sullivan about the events you describe?

a nice stint in the military would do these punks some learn to respect others in a whole new light.

Skip D - personal Intervention is a must, but then you have to follow through and report it. I have done both and found that one does not work without the other. One person is not enough to stop deviant behavior. "It takes a village."

@An Observer: Student was there under Casteen and yes, I have contacted Sullivan but I've never received any response from her office. I believe her staff insulates her from blunt email. My story is this: a friend of my son's was expelled for cheating (he was targeted by two others who were angered by him coming forward to help protect a girl from being attacked at a party one night. These guys found out that he was (then) part of a group project and they got the other 2 in the group to accuse him of stealing their work. It was a shoddy investigation by his peers and after a bogus Honor Trial, he was thrown out of school.) At the same time this was happening to him, two other athletes were allowed to remain even in school even though they had been accused of raping a young girl. That case did not go to an Honor trial. I couldn't believe that you could be accused of rape and nothing happens but some trumped up charge of cheating could get you expelled. Then followed the Russell case and I followed that because she was also a friend of my son's. My kids aren't at UVA anymore, thank goodness, but I still read The Hook and it's interesting - maybe sad - that the same types of comments and issues are printed year after year.

"a nice stint in the military would do these punks some learn to respect others in a whole new light."

Pam -- thanks of the additional information. I understand your comments better, now.
I am not a fan of the "Honor Code." As you point out, the stakes are too high to have a clique of kids playing judge and jury with a classmate's future. Especially with no chance, ever, for the adults to step in to rectify a miscarriage of justice.
Just boned up on the Russell case. Sadly, I fear the daughter may have been caught between competing campus objectives -- protection of women students in her case, versus the intense desire to "diversify" grounds (for which Ofori was considered a successful poster child). Add to that, the years of charges against the university that it had been unfair to Blacks since Jefferson's days . . . . A perfect storm for Ms. Russell.
As a parent with children of both genders, I am concerned about the whole campus sexual assault debate. Clearly, in the past schools were quick to dismiss reports, certainly too quick in some cases. In my view, though, the pendulum has swung a little too far the other way, now -- when in "he said, she said cases," the male gets no due process and the female is always to be believed.
WIth the level of drinking nearly equal for young men and women on campuses, with both genders fully participating in the hook up culture (do you think Helen Gurley Brown (sp?) is proud of what she wrought?), not sure all responsibility should be placed squarely at the feet of the young men when young women wake up the next morning next to some guy they don't know . . . .
Based on the (admittedly one-sided) press reports on the Russell case, that is NOT what happened there.

Pam that is so disheartening.

Here's the last article that the Hook published:

I don't think the children who attend college have the right to decide if a crime was committed. I call them children because they aren't paying their own bills, car insurance, or rent. (OK, for the sake of argument, most are not). They think they are adults because they drink and have sex and maybe hold down a part time job. Honor Trials are Kangaroo Courts - the pretense of justice with no real justice served. Yet our lawmakers do use these Kangaroo Court statistics to defend their positions when arguing for changes in the law.

The only similarities in these cases is that the University absolved itself of any responsibility when so many administrators, coaches, and students knew that this guy had a problem. Did they have a responsibility to Yeardley, who was also a paying customer of the school, to protect her? Delegate Rob Bell jumped right in last year and assisted in changing the laws so that protective orders could be obtained by non-married couples whenever there was abuse - there was much coverage that this was done for Yeardley, though I doubt she would have even considered obtaining a protective order. Bell has now proposed legislation to mandate Memorandum of Agreements between campus police and local police to investigate felony crimes because of the Russell case. I know Russell would have used that opportunity to have her assailant arrested.

To sum it up - in my mind, the only way to protect students is to change the laws. We can't rely on peer intervention nor can we rely on the University to police its students. Young men like George are time bombs waiting to happen. We let people like him, like Cho, like Ofori fall through the cracks and hope they take themselves and their problems somewhere else.

pam --

Instead of broadening already broad laws, we push for schools like UVA to teach their students? My alma mater required every single incoming student to attend a lecture on rape, a separate lecture on responsible drinking that touched on "date rape," and to complete an online course on responsible drinking. My first night living in the dorms, we had a dorm-wide meeting where our "residential director" gave us a talk about being safe and being respectful of others. These measures went a long way -- the school had it's share of incidents, but we did not have victims who were uncertain about whether or not they had been raped, and nobody could accuse the school of trying to sweep the issue under the rug.

It is unfortunate, but it seems that parents are not teaching their kids how to behave responsibly when it comes to drugs (alcohol included) and sex before sending their kids into an environment where they will be surrounded by such things. If UVA wants to keep its students safe, then UVA will have to take it upon itself to educate its students about these issues, and to do so before the students have learned where the parties are and how to get into the local bars (i.e. before the end of the first week of classes). Huguely was an isolated case, and I doubt that he would have been stopped by any of the measures I described above, but a lot of other cases at UVA would turn out differently if the school took a few basic steps.

I do not think it is asking too much of a university to educate its students on this topic (what are we sending kids to school for, if not education).

-- B

But wait. Pam said her son was in one of those classes and it was like a big joke to all involved!?!?!?!?! Classes don't help if the prevailing attitudes don't change.

But yes, we all...parents, teachers, coaches, administrators...could do more. I almost feel like to wait to teaching respect and safety at the college level is too late and more should be done at the high school level or even younger. I know Yeardley's death has spurred me to start the conversation started with both my kids.

Shay --

True, although I believe her son was receiving a special course for athletes. I think this should be for everyone, without separating students from each other, and before the students have the chance to register for classes. It should not be a bunch of athletes laughing about "the good ol' days" with their coach.

It is good to hear that you are talking to your children. My parents taught me to be respectful of anyone I found myself romantically involved with before I even started dating, and I knew how to drink responsibly long before I stepped foot on a college campus. Unfortunately, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule, and people tend to get very uptight about the idea of talking to their children about "adult" issues.

-- B

Personally, I believe that peer-on-peer education to teach 21 year olds "where to draw the line" is a waste of time. It should be taught at a younger age, just as we teach the "Just Say No" anti-drug campaigns to 5th graders.

The best way to deter violence and alcohol abuse is to arrest offenders. Nothing is more sobering than a night in jail. It also sends a message that you cannot break the law and get away with it.

Also, Victims need help in enforcing the laws already on the books. As has been stated, the University operates in a closed system and has multiple ways of sweeping these incidents under the rug. The University President has to make public statements that she will not tolerate her staff to sweep cases of assault under the rug. I don't hear that coming from UVA....not even after I spoke with Ms Sullivan....

Ms. Russell -- I applaud your actions to right the wrong suffered by your daughter.

I agree the that peer education at the collegiate level is virtually meaningless.

In response to B, above -- UVa male students are sat down over and over with the message, so that the reaction becomes "oh brother, forced to yet again sit through the 'don't rape girls' speech," which totally dilutes the message.

UVa's safest course of action would be to direct all co-eds complaining of rape to the hospital for a rape exam, turn it over to the police, and then get out of the way. If there is a conviction, throw the school should throw the now proven rapist out. Not sure why they don't do that, unless the problem comes when folks want the "alleged" perpetrator kicked out before trial. That's when the issue of "due process" becomes problematic.

I am interested in your suggestion that the potential solution here is that all laws be enforced to the fullest. Does that include the alcohol laws, too. I don't want to be insensitive here, but according to the articles in The Hook, your daughter was drinking in a Corner bar when she was underaged. That certainly doesn't justify her attack, but would you have wished her arrested and sent to jail for the night for that offense? Even though that would have saved her from being attacked, I don't think I would want that result.

It is not a matter of sitting down the male students; everyone should know what is or is not rape, regardless of their gender. I agree with Mrs. Russel about teaching children from an early age, but evidently parents are not doing that. This is a problem that we have right now, and it is a problem that UVA is doing little to address.

It is not just a matter of teaching people not to commit rape, it is matter of people knowing what rape is in the first place. I have met UVA students who were raped and who only found out that the attack constituted rape days later when someone else told them. How can enforcement even happen if the victims are not even aware that a crime was a committed? Yes, it may be shocking that people could go 18 or more years of their life having no idea what rape is, but it is not a hard problem to solve: every incoming student should be told both the definition of rape and the fact that rape is a crime, and they should be told what to do should they or someone they know be raped.

Observer-absolutely arrest over rape. But he could have drugged her even if she was drinking sprite.

B- excellent point about both sexes being educated!

Perhaps the parents should take an interest and teach their kiddies all about these issues, and not leave it up to someone else.

Shay -- was there an allegation of drugging in the Russell matter? If so, I missed that.

SkipD -- Amen.

@An Observer. No, she was not drugged.

SkipD - you are exactly right! This is something that has to be taught at an early age. Parents have to stop sheltering their kids and start educating them on what happens in the real world.

It's going to take more than just a conversation with them. Also, telling them to get out of the relationship ASAP may be one of the worst things you could tell them!! Yeardley's case is the perfect example - she was trying to end the relationship and get away from George and we all know how that ended.

Get a Clue -- I quibble with your last point, given that she sought him out 4/27 to challenge him about "other women," and given that she spent time with him at the men's team end of season family party on 5/1.

Observer -- but she wasn't responding to his SIX e-mails. She may have been going along w/ the social niceties, but not responding to his e-mails seemed to set him off.

S Russell: Apologies, I confused the circumstances of another case.

Observer: I believe she ran into GHV and his family at the restaurant.

Waiting: I couldn't agree more.

George acknowledged in the police interview that she had recently ended things. And that's the thing about these types of relationships ... they can be ON one second and OFF the next.

YL didn't necessarily want to break up with him ... maybe she just got to the point where she couldn't tolerate his crap anymore.

In these situations, you want the man to grow up and do the right thing. You want to believe him when he says he will never do it again. You don't want to end things because you love him and you know he is better than that ... but then he continues to be out of control and he leaves you with no choice.

According to Women are most vulnerable to violence when separated from their intimate partner.

As a mother, I know two things:
#1 You teach your children how to respect the right of others.
#2 Your children grow up and make decisions based on what they’ve learned from a variety of places, their parents among those.
GH took the laptop and threw it in the dumpster (read ‘hid’). He destroyed the evidence of his intent to kill Yeardley with the intent to destroy it. He didn’t take it or keep it as ‘collateral.’ For what? She would return as his loving girlfriend in order to get her laptop back?
Those two actions prove intent, and prove that drunk or not, he knew exactly what he was doing.

Did he understand the consequences? Was he making a calm, deliberate decision? No, but GH didn’t operate like that. He made a series of bad decisions. He thought a strong person had the right to physically restrain a weaker person. He thought he had the right to dictate whom a person dated just because he wanted her for himself. He thought alcohol was a way of life. He thought his friends would back him up. He thought it was acceptable to show up drunk to a father-son function, to a graduation dinner, on school days, at lacrosse practice.
His parents may or may not have taught him to respect the rights of others. BUT his parents didn’t kill Yeardley Love. They didn’t break down her door, cheat on her, lie to her, threaten her, or beat her.

But there are more important lessons to be learned from this tragedy. A boy and a girl—once babies of proud parents, friends, students, athletes, sisters, brothers—are lost. They have no future. Sisters have been separated for life, parents devastated, schools shamed. But you cannot dismiss this by simply calling GH a thug. That lets the rest of us off the hook.
Where was the lacrosse coach who overlooked the smell of alcohol when GH showed up to practice? Who excused and perhaps encouraged the violation of training rules? Who missed the warning signs of a physical fight between teammates and failed to schedule conflict resolution counseling? Where are the frat brothers and teammates who watched their ‘friend’ drink to excess and choke a female student and failed to intervene? Where were the sorority sisters and friends of YL who let her continue to date a man who had choked her? Who let her be alone on a day and night when GH had been drunk since early morning? Who encouraged her to drink 4 shooters when she weighed less than 110 pounds, presumably not the first time? Where were the apartment neighbors who complained about repeated ‘yelling’ and didn’t insist on police intervention? Where was the university president who didn’t fire the coach for excusing the tragedy by saying alcohol and lacrosse go hand in hand? Where were the parents who condone out of control drinking and multiple sex partners as an acceptable part of the ‘college experience’?

Anyone who drinks to excess, to get drunk, has a problem. They are avoiding or escaping something, something they aren’t proud of, can’t handle, or can’t control, whether it’s the drinking, the drugs, sex, cheating, not performing to ability, disappointing parents, coaches, self. Until Charlottesville, the University of Virginia, all of our colleges and communities, parents everywhere take a long hard look at what’s happening to our college-age kids, we won’t have a clue how to prevent another GH or YL. It’s a tragedy all right, a tragedy for all of us. The biggest tragedy is that it was avoidable.

According to the jurors , after georgey butchered yeardley he went back to his room and wrote several comprehensive well thought out emails...

He is a sociopath
That whole family og hugely and sanson's are crazy

Teran your brother beats up little girls..marta you obviously are not a good mother

As for stephanie adjadj of Gibson dunn
You are a whopper whore skankingaround on your sorotprity sister sleeping with a convicted murderer and then being stupid enough to trash yeardley for hitting a murderer with a tiny purse
You are so stupid so skanky and as for those 2 slut high school students aren't you embarrassed to go to ova where yeardley was adored and you are just 2 16 yr old sluts who defended a murderer
Ps you aepre very ugly too