Charlottesville Breaking News
The dramatically different look of the on-trial George Huguely could stem from a lack of steroids behind bars, says Hook legal analyst David Heilberg, who cautions that his theory about the prohibited muscle-building compounds is pure speculation.
"The first thing that came to mind when I saw his appearance in court," says Heilberg, "was, 'Was he using steroids?'"
The images of Huguely that have long filled the public pages and airwaves show a lacrosse player who, according to his team roster, stood 6'2' and weighed 209 pounds. So the idea of any fight between such a towering, hulking Division I varsity athlete and a much smaller female in her bedroom has provoked widespread outrage.
Huguely should not have been using the muscle-building compounds because they're banned by most athletic organizations including the NCAA, which governs the University of Virginia's athletic team. Steroids have been linked to a variety of health effects including shrunken testicles and an increase in body hair.
More gravely, there's a negative side-effect that can affect those surrounding the user: "roid rage," an increase in aggression. Defendant Huguely has a history of alcohol misuse including a 2008 conviction for public drunkenness and resisting...
Despite the previous day's revelation that after getting brutally beaten Yeardley Love survived for two hours, longtime Hook legal analyst David Heilberg indicates that he stands by his prognostication that a first-degree murder conviction remains a possibility.
"Basically, she was helpless during the short time she was alive," says Heilberg, noting the defendant's "cold indifference" to Love's welfare by absconding with her computer and failing to call emergency responders after pummeling her.
Prosecutor Dave Chapman noted during his opening argument that the injured Love was in a many-windowed apartment, something that resonates with Heilberg.
"He talked about the small apartment with lots of windows, so if she had any ability to move, she'd have sought help," says Heilberg. "She wouldn't have to go far to open a window or cry out."
The defense, however, has indicated that it plans to introduce a variety of alternate scenarios that might have killed Love. These include a drug/alcohol-induced heart arrhythmia, bleeding from strenuous CPR efforts, and something akin to crib death called "positional asphyxiation."
Lauding the legal teams on both sides, Heilberg compliments the prosecutor, whose opening argum...
The tale of the Hook's sudden founding ten years ago has oft been told, so I won't rehash it here. What I will repeat are a few exciting highlights. My personal favorite is the fact that the first issue rolled off the presses and hit the newsstands on February 7, 2002, the same day my youngest child was born.
Up next is the fact that I get to work with the Fab Three: Lisa Provence, Courteney Stuart, and Dave McNair. (They were nice enough to let me in this Fab Four photo with them.) They're the main reason the Hook has won 120 awards from the Virginia Press Association. And they don't just create good-for-you "broccoli" journalism. The Hook reporters are fabulously witty wordsmiths whose creativity matches their pursuit of stories, and they're probably the only print reporters in Charlottesville with name recognition.