UVA brass: Honchos defend school after lacrosse killing
UVA President John Casteen deflected blame from the university by suggesting that a Rockbridge County court should have acted on the allegation that murder suspect George Wesley Huguely had earlier threatened to kill a Lexington police officer, but at the same press conference, Athletic Director Craig Littlepage admitted that he has yet to find out whether lacrosse coaches, including the head lacrosse coach knew about their player's prior arrest.
"Nothing was reported to me," said Littlepage, which prompted a New York Times reporter to press for clarification on whether that meant the coaches knew. "I can't speak to what they had knowledge of," Littlepage conceded.
It was the largest press conference in Charlottesville since (and including) the infamous 1998 baby-switching case, and it took place in a ground floor room in the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library with most of the nation's major news operations represented.
There was an allegation by one reporter that a prior altercation took place between the suspect and the victim, 22-year-old Yeardley Love, at Delta Kappa Epsilon, the "Deke" house, approximately two weeks before the fatal altercation. However, the university officials present professed no such knowledge, and the house's active member roster doesn't show Huguely's name; and a noon Wednesday email to the chapter president was not returned by posting time.
With what-did-they-know-and-when-did-they-know-it as the question of the moment, this reporter emailed the head lacrosse coach, Dom Starsia, prior to the press conference to see if he knew of Huguely's prior arrest, but he did not immediately reply.
President Casteen said he checks the UVA Police reports every morning but said that other than the occasional "courtesy" notifications, there's no system to alert him to student arrests in other jurisdictions.
The arresting officer in that November 2008 Lexington incident, R.L. Moss, has released a statement with some stunning revelations including alleging that, despite her police training, she was "no match" for the large and surly lacrosse player.
As was first reported in the Cavalier Daily, this arrest and subsequent pair of convictions involved being drunk in public and resisting arrest. And as the Washington Post first reported, the officer claims that Huguely made death threats.
"I'll kill all you bitches," Moss says Huguely said during his arrest.
But it didn't end there. Officer Moss reports that Huguely, when he appeared in court, didn't recall that a female cop arrested him and, more surprisingly, didn't remember getting Tased.
Not remembering an officer's gender might be something to slip through the blur of a bad night. but to forget getting hit by a painful and incapacitating dose of thousands of volts of electricity is a feat reserved for the most intoxicated or most forgetful of human beings.
A request for comment put to Huguely's lawyer was not immediately returned.