Pretty Keen: Huguely gets Level 4 prison in southwest VA

Convicted girlfriend-killer George Wesley Huguely V has been transferred to a high-security state prison in the far southwestern corner of the state. According to state Corrections Department spokesperson Larry Traylor, the former UVA student, convicted earlier this year in the 2010 beating death of fellow student Yeardley Love, was transferred to Keen Mountain Correctional Center on October 15.

A Level 4 facility on the state's 6-tiered security rankings, Keen was once the home to another UVA student convicted of murder: Jens Soering, who was convicted in 1990 of killing his girlfriend's parents and who now resides at a less-secure facility in Buckingham.

In late February, the now 24-year-old Huguely was convicted on a second-degree murder charge. Jurors heard Huguely admit on videotape that he kicked in the door of the sleeping woman's room, and medical evidence suggested that he choked and/or beat her until she lost consciousness.

"That's not a surprise that he got a high level given the crime," says Hook legal analyst David Heilberg. "Murder is murder is murder."

One thing Huguely is getting is protective custody, an arrangement that keeps him away from the other prisoners, and Heilberg says that makes a lot of sense due to the notoriety of the crime and Huguely's probable lack of street-smarts. Trial testimony portrayed a country club lifestyle that included allegations of repeated alcohol abuse including a night of spilled wine and a beer-soaked golf outing in the hours leading up to the crime.

"He's a pretty sheltered kid," says Heilberg. He's in there with people who have rougher backgrounds."

Heilberg says that the Department of Corrections may eventually try to ease him out of protective custody, what some might call solitary confinement.

"His psychological well-being," says Heilberg, "would suggest he should become part of the general population."

In late September, Huguely was moved from the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail to the Powhatan Reception and Classification Center. Huguely's newest home lies in the town of Oakwood, which Google Maps lists as approximately seven hours from Huguely's boyhood home in Bethesda, Maryland.

"That's pretty far away from his family," Heilberg notes.

Corrections Department spokesperson Traylor says that Huguely must serve at least a year of his 23-year sentence with no major infractions before the state would consider allowing him to transfer to the Maryland prison system.

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"Huguely's newest home lies in the town of Oakwood, which Google Maps lists as approximately seven hours from Huguely's boyhood home in Bethesda, Maryland.
"That's pretty far away from his family," Heilberg notes."

And Yeardley is even further away from her family. No sympathies here.

A study of serial killers like Ed Gein, inspiration for Silence of the Lambs, revealed a normal guy except for one thing: total lack of empathy. The same thing was found by a British psychologist studying captured Nazi war criminals: nothing unusual about them, except no empathy. And students of Nietszche will recall one attribute of the nihilist Uberman, behavioral model for both Mussolini and Hitler: "not burdened by pity."

So to TrueHue I say: have a little pity. Think a moment. Think about a boy taught to be aggressive, rewarded for violence every day on the lacrosse field, fueled by alcohol, bloated by alcohol, who beat his girlfriend unconscious in a jealous rage--and when he sobered up he could not believe what he had done. He killed her because he loved her. A few minutes of drunken rage cost the life of one he loved, and his oen life too, because those minutes will be paid for by spending all of his productive life in jail. Emptiness, nothing to do, every day for twenty four years. Look at the picture--see the bruise under his eye? Beatings and rape are all he has to look forward to. If he makes it, he will be in his late fifties when he gets out, unemployable. Ms. Love's pain is over. His is just beginning.

I mourn the destruction of two young lives, not just one.

Editor: I see that went in twice: computer slow-down, and mistakenly pushed Post twice. Please delete one.

How can anyone care for his psychological well-being? He killed his girlfriend by physically beating her to death. Let him out with the general population and let him get what is coming to him! Sheltered indeed! So rich spoiled kids should be coddled when they kill, but poor, steer wise kids... throw the book at them huh? Sounds like R-money justice to me.

well said, "empathy".

Protective custody? Why? Yeardley never got any protective custody. It's prison, after all, and it's not supposed to be pleasant. No special favors, turn him loose with all the other murderers and rapists.

I wonder how come Georgy-boy got moved and Eric Abshire is still sitting in the regional jail.

How come Hugley got moved and Eric Abshire is still sitting in the regional jail?

I do pity him but I have no sympathy for the fact that he is now 7 hours away from his parents. Especially since it was daddy who taught him to be so violent and a drunkard.

All prisoners deserve to be safe in prison-not just the ones from rich families. Terror, rape, beatings are just as painful to people from "rough" neighborhoods as ones who have been "sheltered". And being street smart does not protect prsoners, nothing does. Unfortunately.

To Empathy,

Yor are mourning the wrong person. The difference is that two lives were NOT "destroyed" ONE of those young people knowing that he had a highly violent temperment and little self control when drinking, CHOSE to drink and then CHOSE to batter the other person to dearth.

That ain't a tragic young person that is a murderer. And if he lacks empathy, and is violent, and he breaks into homes and beats sleeping people, he is a sociopath who needs to be locked up away from the rest of humanity. As to his safety in prison, let him learn to deal with equally large, equally violent, sociopaths who can fight back.

Hope he enjoys the experience.

Do any of you know for certain Ms. Love did not get up to shower after George left? Read the transcripts before passing judgement.

@ cat:: you are 100 percent correct!

Everyone is affected by genetics and environment. No one would wish this fate on anyone, George or Yeardley. Do you think George really wanted to kill someone he loved, and end up in jail for 20 years?? We live in a broken world and George's severe addiction problem, fueled by anger management issues and family problems, esp w/ his father, has caused a tragic accident, affecting many people. George is carrying the burdens of his family, of his upbringing and consequences of fatal addiction problems.
Why do you people post harsh comments? what about the words of Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" - only God knows George's heart and mind, and maybe George was in pain, and he had no idea how to get help. It is very, very sad. Why not pray for people to learn from George's mistake? to see how terrifying alcoholism and addiction can be, b/c it is clearly a disease that kills. I pray for God to enter George's heart, and help him learn from this tragic story, to become a better person, and change from the inside out.

Yes, sad all the way around ... how does the Lacrosse Coach feel now that he knows he could have intervened and helped turn this young man around? I hope he takes a good hard look in the mirror every morning and lives with regret. There are many victims from this story, although I doubt very few lessons learned.

Agree with Jim.

Has he shown remorse? Has he written to the family? Is he cooperating with the Love's law suites? Is he in denial, still? Maybe he could start speaking, tell the truth, that would be a start.
If he was human with a soul, he would understand! Why not tell how UVA sports authorities treated him and the team? Why not he explain his family situation with honesty?

Is he afraid, that his legacy maybe tarnished, what a legacy.

He went with the decision to go to trial. He took the dead lifeless woman, had her medical records opened. He after her death acted almost as evil as he did while committing the murder.

And for those who talk about him being a victim to drugs. Well he was not afforded that pleasure during the year we waited for a trial. Why not then, while clean, sober and with all of the hind sight treat her with dignity?

Answer that, then let him speak, before you ask the large majority of us to feel pity for him.

There are many in prison that are innocent, not him. Prisons are bad places. He was not framed, he was not a victim, he was afforded representation.

I believe in cleaning up the prison system. Start as far away from him as you can. Leave him for last!

Have any of you ever tried to break up a fight? It's very dangerous. That's what corrections officer must do if inmates target one inmate and try to beat him up. Whether hughley stays in segregation should depend on whether moving him to general population will create an unreasonable risk of injury to corrections officers.

Good Article, Hawes. Thanks for the trivia about Soerings. I read an exerpt from one of Soering's book detailing the engineering feats necessary for prison toilets. Anyhow, I notice what appears to be a black eye on his prison photo. Does anyone else notice this?

Very good point, ASDF.