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.Read more on: George Huguely