Purse-smack: Friends saw Love and Huguely argue days before her death

cover-lax-duo2Yeardley Love and the man accused of murdering her.

In the days before the brutal May 3 slaying of UVA lacrosse player Yeardley Love, she and her former boyfriend George Huguely had an argument in his apartment that ended with Love hitting Huguely with her purse, according to statements from a Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sister who was there.

The contents of Love's purse scattered, and later–- once Love realized her camera and cellphone were missing–- she asked her friend to go back to Huguely's to retrieve them. The friend returned with only the camera, according to heavily redacted affidavits for warrants to search the two computers recovered in Huguely's apartment at 230 14th NW for stored–- or deleted–- emails referring to Love between April 3 and May 3.

The warrants were filed August 17, and Judge Paul Peatross ordered them temporarily sealed. Only redacted versions of the affidavits have been released.

Among the information blacked out are the names of at least two of Love's friends, who recounted hearing about an email Huguely sent Love. One of the friends was in a hotel room in Chicago with Love, who read it to her. Apparently the email was so gripping that Love read it to her friend out loud again the next day. The UVA women's lacrosse team played Northwestern April 30, three days before Love was killed inside her own apartment.

Fragmentary details of the email were recovered from a third computer, this one a Dell belonging to Love which was found in a dumpster on Sadler Street, a road that crosses 14th Street aside Camden Courtyard, the multi-building apartment complex that housed both Huguely and Love at the time of the slaying.

Huguely, now living in the local jail and charged with first-degree murder, allegedly admitted to police that he'd swiped Love's computer from her apartment after kicking in the door of her bedroom and slamming her head repeatedly into the wall. Love, found face down on her bed in a pool of blood, died from blunt force trauma, according to the state medical examiner. ("An accident with a tragic outcome," according to Huguely attorney Fran Lawrence.)

Love's mother, Sharon Love, gave authorities permission to search her daughter's computer.

While the email quotations are redacted on the search warrant, police contend they're evidence of the prior fight in which Love smacked Huguely with her purse.

The killing of fourth-year Love just three weeks before graduation and the charges against her former boyfriend rocked the University of Virginia and focused national attention on domestic violence. Now, new President Teresa Sullivan has called for a day of dialogue on violence prevention September 24.

"After the news of Yeardley Love's death reached me in Ann Arbor last May," she recently wrote to faculty and staff, "I began to think ahead to joining the University of Virginia community and about what we as a community could learn from this horrific event and how we might begin to identify the characteristics of a caring community, one whose members recognize their mutual responsibility for each other."

As for Huguely, the 22-year-old from Chevy Chase, Maryland, continues to occupy a segregated four-by-eight-foot cell at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail, where he's been held since May 3. His visitors are not restricted, and his family has visited him, says the jail's superintendent, Colonel Ron Matthews.

"He's not causing any problem," says Matthews, who reports that Huguely is taken out for recreation at least three times a week. "When he goes, it's by himself."

The former lacrosse player is segregated from the general population because the case's notoriety might jeopardize his safety, says Matthews. "Occasionally you might have someone with feelings for the victim, or they want to get their name in the paper," he explains.

Otherwise, those in segregation are treated no differently from other inmates. And, says Matthews, Huguely "has not been on suicide watch since he's been here."

Huguely's preliminary hearing is set for October 8.


Gas - rumor has it the defense is going to be more along the lines of "Natasha Richardson syndrome".

As long as childishly immature and goalless people are the chosen ones to attend universities, and reporters characterize them as the world's hope for a brilliant future, then people will be fascinated by their tabloid-worthy lives.

And, says Matthews, Huguely ââ?¬Å?has not been on suicide watch since he’s been here.” - I can almost take this as a "no remorse" situation....if I had just killed someone I supposedly loved, my conscience would be completely eating me alive. However, I am not George and cannot know what he is thinking/feeling. I hope I'm wrong.

Questioning thanks. I guess when I read he knew she was bleeding from her nose, I assumed he'd knew he'd broken something in her brain, as people don't tend to bleed out of ears, nose, w/out overt, conspicious trauma to those places.

My thinking is this: if I decide, in the heat of the moment or whatever to go beat the you know what out of them, and as a result of this, the person dies, then it's my fault and would be even premeditated given that I went to then to do them harm. That they may have died as a result of it would just be my bad luck. The intent is to harm. And as you said, he covered his a## by taking and throwing away her computer. Later it was said the cops found a passport in his shorts which makes me wonder if he was going to do a Scott Peterson.

What ever this punk gets will not be enough that's for sure.

Natasha Richardson defense? How in the world is that connected? Ms. Richardson had a bleed in the brain d/t an injury or trauma related to an enjoyable sport.

Ms.Love was locked in her bedroom minding her own business and an animal kicked the door in and bashed her head however many times against a wall. Of course the brain is going to bleed with force and trauma such as that. No surprises at all here.

The other deal that relates to it not being an accident is that he saw her bleed from her nose and maybe ears and what'd he do? The ****** left her or threw her on the bed, knowing she was massively wounded, took her computer and left. No calls to 911, or friends. He left her there coldly to suffer and bleed out. Taking her PC shows that the only concern he had was for himself.

Who knows where he would be if the cops hadn't grabbed him so fast and there wasn't so much incriminating evidence. Does anyone doubt this?

His mom and Dad have Money . the poor me . Thanks Mom And Dad for the fine job you done on rising your baby Boy

Rut Roh! Here comes the "battered boyfriend" defense!

Yeah Gas...I see that coming too.

Too bad she didnt have a brick in her purse

@what next...I think (and this is purely speculation) that they are moving toward the "he didn't intend to kill her". The taking of the laptop after the brutal beating and leaving her on the bed was enough for me to think he did. He couldn't have her, so no one else could. If he hadn't intended to kill her, then why did he bang her head against the wall?????

Just as a note, does anyone see a pattern with today's youth as the "instant gratification" generation moving in a certain direction? Just recently I read on another UVA story the poster stated that because she was "pretty and rich" and without that she would starve? This has completely perplexed me since I read it.

Has anyone seen a time-line for the events of that evening?

What I find confusing is that the housemates who discovered YL's body initially thought she was drunk, and in their account didn't give noticing the broken door, and evidence of the violence, as being suspicious for their first reaction.

Had she been out with others celebrating that night?
Who was the last one to see her alive? What time WAS that?
How long before GH arrived? And how long after he left was the time of death? (Was there noone living nearby who heard what must have been her screams?)
Why wouldn't the broken door have raised immediate alarm with the housemates? Had that happened before?

So from this article, three weeks before graduation and four days before the final altercation a significant email was received in Chicago while at an Away Women's LAX game, from GH to YL that was so disturbing it was read repeatedly,and to a witness, apparently also on the day of the game three days before she died.

That was followed by YL with a sorority sister witness at GH's housing confronting him about it (the next day?), but resorted to hitting him with her purse so hard that it overturned its contents on the floor, and somehow GH ended up keeping her cell phone and camera when she tried to re-fill the purse. (Did she realize right away that he'd taken them, but was too frightened to stick around and have a tug-of-war to get them back?) (Was he so incensed by what he found on her cell phone/camera that he flew into a rage?)

YL did not return to retrieve them, (didn't feel safe?) but instead sent her friend back to get the camera and phone, but was only given the camera.

So...what happened to the cell phone? Is that where the original email was received? Or on a laptop? The laptop that GH killed to retrieve?

Did the UVA Women's LAX coach know about the content of the email while they were still in Chicago, or on the plane?

What is so disturbing is that there was apparently such a huge conspiracy of silence by the people involved. (Is it really possible that noone in authority really knew about the downward spiraling relationship?)

UNC players pulled GH away from choking YL at a frat party after a Men's LAX game with them. (Surely there were many witnesses to the trouble even then?)

GH beat up a sleeping teammate who'd kissed YL. (Didn't that teammate tell someone about it?)

At what point was GH made aware that YL was no longer his GF?

What was the tipping point for GH's rage? The break-up? A new love interest for YL? (Pardon the pun) A final rejection? YL's threat to tell someone or fear of discovery with the damning emails? One would presume it might be the latter, since removing the computer was more important to GH than getting YL to immediate medical attention. One would seemingly have to be utterly heartless or so out-of-it that the blood streaming from her orifices didn't penetrate his mind as being of grave import that morning.

The whole situation is still shocking.
There were red flags everywhere and only the angry bull in the pen went so wild as to see red and blindly chase down, and gore the victim.

My heart goes out to both families, and all the friends and teammates facing this trial. How terrible to have to go through each excruciating detail of these events for a protracted period of time. There is so much pain to process. I hope they have strong support systems, and are able to rely on their faith during the next weeks.