|In this handout provided by Media Relations University of Virginia, shows George Huguely in this undated photo. Police have arrested 22-year-old George Huguely of Chevy Chase, Md. and have charged him with first-degree murder of Yeardley Love. Police Chief Tim Longo said during a news conference that 22-year-old Yeardley Love's body was found early Monday, May 3, 2010 in her Charlottesville apartment by a roommate. Longo says police were originally responding to a possible alcohol overdose, but quickly discovered it was something worse. (AP Photo/Media Relations University of Virginia)|
Suspect tells police details of U.Va. lax death
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—Describing a scene of violent rage, the Virginia lacrosse player accused of killing a member of the women's team told police he kicked in her bedroom door, shook her, and her head repeatedly hit the wall, according to a court document.
The suspect, 22-year-old George Huguely, of Chevy Chase, Md., has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Yeardley Love, also 22.
Huguely was not present at a court hearing Tuesday, but he appeared via videoconference from Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, wearing a gray-striped uniform. Afterward, his lawyer, Francis Lawrence, told reporters that Love's "death was not intended, but an accident with a tragic outcome."
Lawrence said Huguely withdrew from the university. Huguely and Love were both seniors.
Late Tuesday night, Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage announced that both lacrosse teams will participate in the NCAA tournament.
"A part of their healing will be getting our students back into some of their routines. In the case of the women's and men's programs, our lacrosse teams will honor Yeardley by continuing their seasons," Littlepage said in a statement. "We anticipate both teams will be selected for the NCAA Tournaments and they will represent the University of Virginia as they always have."
An affidavit for a search warrant said two people found Love, of Cockeysville, Md., face down in her bedroom early Monday morning, with a pool of blood on her pillow. There was a large bruise on her face and one eye was swollen shut, police said, and she was pronounced dead at the scene after attempts to revive her.
According to the document, Huguely -- listed in the Virginia men's lacrosse media guide as 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds -- told police "he was involved in an altercation with Yeardley Love and that during the course of the altercation he shook Love and her head repeatedly hit the wall."
Huguely told police the two had been in a relationship "and that the relationship had ended," according to the affidavit. Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said investigators are looking into whether Huguely had threatened Love in the past.
"That's what we're trying to get to precisely, through our interviews with friends, family and teammates -- to see to what extent there's truth to that," Longo said.
Longo said there were no past police reports "of prior incidents; there's no protective orders or restraining orders."
Police in Lexington, Va. -- about 70 miles from Charlottesville -- said that in November 2008, Huguely was shocked with a stun gun by an officer there after resisting arrest for public intoxication. He pleaded guilty to two charges last year, was placed on six months' probation and was given a 60-day sentence, which was suspended.
The arresting officer, R.L. Moss, said in a statement Tuesday that she felt it necessary to use a stun gun because Huguely became abusive and his size was no match for her. She said in the statement that Huguely was "yelling obscenities and making threats."
According to the affidavit released in Charlottesville on Tuesday, Huguely waived his right to have an attorney present while he gave his chilling account of what happened at Love's apartment. Huguely told police he communicated with Love by e-mail and took her computer and disposed of it. He also told them where they could find it; Longo said investigators have the computer and are "in the process of trying to see what evidentiary value may exist."
An autopsy on Love was concluded in Richmond, and Longo said investigators passed along to him "pieces" of information, but he would not release details until he has the full, official report from the medical examiner.
Medical student Cliff Cutchins, who lives in the apartment building beside Huguely's, said he didn't know the suspect but had met Love and knew many of her friends.
Some of his friends who were close to Love left town for a few days, said Cutchins, of Virginia Beach.
Even with the details released Tuesday about Love's death, Cutchins said it is hard to believe that her relationship with Huguely could have been abusive.
"No matter what kind of relationship they had, there were no indications that it could have gotten this bad," he said. "There's no way this community would have let that happen."
Huguely, a midfielder, wasn't a starter but played in all 15 games this season, with four goals and three assists. Love played defense and started three games this season.
Their senior year was wrapping up: Tuesday was the last day of classes for undergraduates, final exams are scheduled to start Thursday, and graduation is the last week of May.
Instead, there were signs of mourning Tuesday. A moment of silence was observed for Love before Virginia's home baseball game. Members of Love's high school lacrosse team -- Notre Dame Preparatory of Towson, Md. -- wrote her uniform number, No. 1, on their calves; put black tape on their sticks; and wore orange ribbons in their hair for their 17-9 victory Tuesday at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School in Alexandria.
Meanwhile, at Virginia's campus, two gates at the lacrosse practice field were chained while players worked out.
Associated Press Writer Dena Potter and AP Photographer Steve Helber contributed to this report.