Murder of Yeardley Love
|Date||May 3, 2010|
|Location||222 14th Street, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA|
|Cause||Blunt force trauma|
|Suspect(s)||George Wesley Huguely V|
|Charges||First degree murder, felony murder, robbery of a residence, burglary, entering a house with an intent to commit a felony, grand larceny|
|Verdict||Guilty, sentenced to 23 years in prison (release date of 2029)|
The murder of Yeardley Love occurred in May 2010 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Love, a University of Virginia (UVA) women's lacrosse student-athlete, was found unresponsive in her Charlottesville apartment on May 3, 2010. Later that day, UVA men's lacrosse player George Wesley Huguely V, originally of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was arrested by Charlottesville Police. Huguely was subsequently found guilty of Love's murder.
Yeardley Reynolds Love was born on July 17, 1987, in Baltimore, Maryland, to John and Sharon Love. She resided in Cockeysville, Maryland. At Notre Dame Preparatory School, Love was a member of the varsity lacrosse and field hockey teams all four years and was an All-County lacrosse player in 2006. Love was admitted to the University of Virginia, where she majored in government and minored in Spanish. As a member of the UVA women's lacrosse team, the Cavaliers, Love scored her first goal in her first game, playing against Virginia Tech. Love started in 9 of her 16 games in 2009 and in 3 of her 15 games in 2010.
|Born||George Wesley Huguely V
September 17, 1987
|Occupation||College student-athlete (at the time of the murder)|
|Criminal charge||First degree murder, felony murder, robbery of a residence, burglary, entering a house with an intent to commit a felony, and grand larceny|
|Criminal penalty||Formal sentence of 23 years (following a jury recommendation of 26 years)|
|Criminal status||Currently held in Keen Mountain Correctional Center, Oakwood, VA|
|Conviction(s)||Second degree murder, grand larceny|
George Wesley Huguely V was born on September 17, 1987, in Washington, D.C., to George Huguely IV and Marta Murphy, who subsequently divorced. Huguely attended the all-boys Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, and resided in Chevy Chase, Maryland. At Landon, Huguely was an All-American lacrosse player and played football as well. During his senior year at Landon, Huguely was the quarterback of the football team.
In 2007, Huguely was charged with underage possession of alcohol in Florida, where his family owns a vacation home. In 2008, Huguely was arrested for public drunkenness and resisting arrest outside the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity house at Washington and Lee University; police tased Huguely to subdue him. In that incident, Huguely received a suspended sentence of 60 days and 6 months of probation, was fined, and was ordered to perform community service and take a drug treatment program. He did not disclose this arrest to the University of Virginia, despite a requirement to do so. During the 2010 season, Huguely was a midfielder for the Virginia Cavaliers men's lacrosse team. He majored in anthropology at Virginia.
Death and arrest of a suspect
Around 2:15 a.m. (EDT) on May 3, police were called to Love's apartment on 14th Street in the University Corner district in Charlottesville. At the scene, Love was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead. The 911 call from Love's roommate reported that Love suffered an alcohol overdose, but detectives noticed "obvious physical injuries to her body" upon arrival. The suspect, George Huguely, was living next door.
On May 4, Huguely was charged with murdering Love and was held in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. At a May 6 court appearance, Huguely's attorney, Fran Lawrence, stated: "Ms. Love's death was not intended but an accident with a tragic outcome." Huguely appeared at the hearing via video.
Huguely and Love dated briefly, but had broken up. At the Charlottesville police station, Huguely waived his Miranda rights and narrated graphic details of his assaulting Love, stating that he kicked open Love's locked bedroom door and "shook Love, and her head repeatedly hit the wall". Evidence that police seized from Huguely's apartment included two Apple laptop computers, a spiral notebook, two white socks, bathroom and entryway rugs, and a Virginia lacrosse shirt with a red stain. Investigators also followed leads of domestic violence between Huguely and Love, including threatening e-mail and text messages that Huguely sent to Love post-breakup; a violent encounter between the couple that was broken up by several visiting lacrosse players from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and an incident in which Huguely attacked Love while drunk but did not recall having hit her. An unnamed student told the New York Daily News that Huguely and Love broke up after the drunken Huguely assaulted Love.
"My hope for Yeardley, and for you," said University president John Casteen at a May 6 candlelight vigil, "is that her dying inspires an anger, a sense of outrage that engenders determination here and wherever Yeardley's name is recognized that no woman, no person in this place, this community, this state, our nation need either fear for her safety or experience violence for any reason." A funeral Mass for Love was held at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on May 8 with an attendance of around 2,000.
On May 10, UVA women's lacrosse coach Julie Myers explained why the team planned to go forward with its role in the NCAA tournament, "Let’s do it the way that Yards would want us to do it."
In their respective tournaments, the men's team advanced to the semifinal where they lost to Duke, who would go on to win the championship, and the women's team advanced to the quarterfinal.
On September 29, 2010, the family of Yeardley Love announced the creation of the Yeardley Reynolds Love Foundation, Inc., also known as the One Love Foundation, to honor her memory. "The mission of the foundation is to encourage and develop in children and young adults four qualities of character that Yeardley exemplified … service, kindness, humility and sportsmanship … that together add up to One Love," explained Sharon Love, Yeardley’s mother. "The foundation would like to 'bring out the Yeardley' in everyone by igniting the spirit of One Love in children and young adults, encouraging them to choose a path of goodness."
A preliminary hearing for Huguely on a first degree murder charge was held April 11, 2011, in Charlottesville District Court. Huguely continued to be held without bond at the Charlottesville regional jail. On January 7, 2011, prosecutors added five additional charges: felony murder, robbery of a residence, burglary, entering a house with an intent to commit a felony, and grand larceny. A grand jury indicted him on April 18, 2011, on first degree and felony murder charges, and a trial date of February 6, 2012, was set. On February 22, 2012, Huguely was found guilty of second degree murder and grand larceny and the jury recommended a 26 year sentence: 25 years for second degree murder and 1 year for grand larceny.
On April 26, 2012, Sharon Love filed a wrongful death lawsuit against George Huguely V, asking for $29.45 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages. On May 1, 2012, she filed a $29.45 million wrongful death lawsuit against UVA, men's lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia, associate head coach Marc Van Arsdale, and UVA director of athletics Craig Littlepage, alleging gross negligence on the part of the coaching staff. The suit alleged that "It was well known to the players and coaches on the UVA men's and women's lacrosse teams that Huguely's alcohol abuse and erratic, aggressive behavior was increasingly getting out of control, especially his obsession with Love and his aggressiveness and threats to Love" and that in spite of this, no action was taken "to discipline Huguely, to suspend or remove Huguely from the lacrosse team, to refer Huguely for treatment or counseling for alcohol/substance abuse or anger/aggressive behavior management, or to subsequently report Huguely's potential risk of violence pursuant to the UVA Policy on Preventing and Addressing Threats or Acts of Violence." 
On August 30, 2012, Huguely was formally sentenced to 23 years in prison by Judge Edward Hogshire; sentences of 23 years for the 2nd degree murder conviction and one year for the grand larceny conviction are to run concurrently. With credit for time served and potential time off for good behavior at the time of sentencing, Huguely would be released in late 2029. As of June 2013 Huguely's attorneys continue to appeal his convictions.
- Flaherty, Mary Pat; Johnson, Jenna (May 4, 2010). "Lacrosse player George Huguely charged in fellow U-Va. student Yeardley Love's death". The Washington Post. p. A1.
- Timanus, Eddie; Brady, Erik (May 4, 2010). "Lawyer calls Virginia lacrosse murder case an 'accident'". USA Today. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- McNeill, Brian (May 6, 2010). "Campus mourns U.Va. victim; family prepares for funeral". Richmond Times-Dispatch.[dead link]
- "Yeardley Love". VirginiaSports.com. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- Friedman, Emily (May 4, 2010). "Accused UVA Murderer Came from A Life of Privilege". ABC News. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- Wertheim 2010, pp. 32, 34
- Cauley, Sandi (May 3, 2010). "UVA Men's Lacrosse Player Charged with Murder of Fellow Student Athlete". WTVR. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- "Friends: Accused ex-lacrosse player’s mood shifted". bostonherald.com. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- Wertheim 2010, p. 30
- Wertheim 2010, p. 31
- Casteen, John (May 6, 2010). "President Casteen's remarks at the candlelight vigil for Yeardley Love". University of Virginia. Retrieved May 7, 2010.[dead link]
- Johnson, Jenna; Yanda, Steve; de Vise, Daniel (May 9, 2010). "Yeardley Love funeral: Thousands of mourners gather to remember U-Va. student". The Washington Post. p. C1.
- Thamel, Pete (May 11, 2010). "Virginia Coach Says Playing Will Help". The New York Times. p. B14.
- Brady, Erik (September 29, 2010). "Family of Yeardley Love sets up foundation". USA Today.
- "Judge to Hear Evidence in UVA Lacrosse Murder Case". Fox News. April 11, 2011.
- Flaherty, Mary Pat (January 20, 2011). "Hearing set in U-Va. student's slaying". Washington Post. p. B4.
- "Huguely indicted on first-degree, felony murder charges". The Baltimore Sun. April 18, 2011.
- Brady, Erik (Feb. 22 2012). "George Huguely found guilty of second-degree murder". USA Today.
- "Yeardley Love's Mother Sues Convicted UVA Killer George Huguely for $30 Million - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Yeardley Love's Mother Sue Lacrosse Coaches in Her Daughter's Death - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Huguely attorneys seek change of venue in wrongful-death lawsuit | Richmond Times-Dispatch". .timesdispatch.com. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Huguely appeals in process, June 2013
Three years after her daughter’s murder, Sharon Love steadfast in her faith Catholic Review May 3, 2013
- Wertheim, L. Jon (May 17, 2010). "Why Did Yeardley Love Have to Die?". Sports Illustrated 112 (21): 28–34.