By Megan Shaw
CHARLOTTESVILLE—“I want to see her … I don’t believe you … There’s no ways she’s dead,” former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely screamed at two detectives as they interrogated him about the beating death of his former girlfriend nearly two years ago.
“Please, can you tell me she’s not dead?” Huguely said on the videotape of the police interview that was played Friday for the jury in his first-degree murder trial.
Hearing those words again, Huguely began to cry, wiping his nose and staring at the floor in the courtroom.
Huguely, 24, of Chevy Chase, Md., is charged with first-degree murder and five other charges in the May 3, 2010, death of Yeardley Love, 22, of Cockeysville, Md., who played on the UVA women’s lacrosse team.
Jurors watched nearly an hour of the police interview, which began shortly before 8 a.m. May 3.
Detective Lisa Reeves testified that Huguely had bruises on his knuckles and a fresh-looking cut on his arm, injuries he said he sustained playing lacrosse the previous Saturday.
She and another detective spent the first 30 or 40 minutes of the interview leading Huguely to believe he was being questioned about an assault before one of them said, “You killed her, George.”
“She’s dead?” Huguely asked. “How the (expletive) is she dead … She’s (expletive) dead?”
Huguely beat his hands on the table in the interview room. “I didn’t strangle her … I didn’t do anything,” he yelled.
“I didn’t kill her and leave her,” he said.
Huguely told the detectives that he went to Love’s apartment that night and left eight to 10 minutes later.
“I shouldn’t have gone over there when I was drunk, but that’s me being emotional,” he told the detectives.
Two of Huguely’s former teammates testified Thursday that he was so drunk he was “slurring his words and couldn’t really hold a conversation” in the hours before Love was killed.
Brian Carroll, who graduated from UVA in 2010, said he had become concerned about Huguely’s drinking habits as their senior year neared its end. He said Huguely’s drinking was getting worse, becoming more frequent and causing problems.
Called as a witness for the prosecution, another lacrosse payer, Tim Fuchs, also testified about Huguely’s excessive drinking.
Fuchs said Huguely was “definitely drunk” and “making inappropriate jokes in front of parents” by 5 p.m. May 2, hours before Love was found dead facedown on her bed.
Francis M. Lawrence, Huguely’s defense attorney, pressed Carroll and Fuchs about previous statements they made to police, asking them to clarify exactly how much alcohol Huguely drank.
Michael Hanschew, a member of the Charlottesville Rescue Squad, told the jury how he and other paramedics tried to revive Love—with CPR, drugs and intubation—for 24 or 25 minutes before they stopped.
Love’s sister, Lexie, sobbed as she sat in the front row and listened to Hanschew describe the scene at the 14th Street apartment, where EMTs initially thought they would be dealing with an “alcohol overdose.”
But when Charlottesville Police Officer K.W. Blackwell arrived at the 14th Street apartment building, he said he saw a young woman with blood around her nose and mouth, an abrasion under her chin and a swollen right eye.
“I realized it was nowhere near the report that was given,” he said. “It was something totally different.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney Warner “Dave” Chapman introduced into evidence several photographs taken while the rescue squad tried but failed to revive Love.
Dr. William Brady, a UVA professor of emergency medicine, said the CPR technique depicted in the photos was correct, and the EMTs’ hands were “appropriately positioned.”
He testified that he didn’t feel comfortable estimating Love’s time of death.
Police say Huguely showed up at Love’s home, kicked in her bedroom door and slammed her head repeatedly against a wall.
The defense is expected to raise the possibility that Love’s use of Adderall, a drug prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, contributed to her death.
Dr. Danny Mistry, a former UVA athletics physician, testified there was nothing out of the ordinary about Love’s Adderall dosage.
He said the athletic department administered three electrocardiogram, or EKG tests, during Love’s years at UVA. The test checks the electrical activity of the heart.
“There were no abnormal structural behaviors,” Mistry testified.
“Is there any medical reason that [Love] would have passed away May 3, 2010?” Chapman asked.
“No,” Mistry replied.
Several witnesses also testified Thursday about Huguely and Love’s volatile relationship, which included allegations of infidelity and violence.
Michael Burns, a 2011 graduate of the University of North Carolina, said he occasionally “hooked up” with Love during her last two years of college.
In February 2010, Burns said, he saw Huguely with his arm around Love’s neck in his bedroom, and stood near the witness stand to demonstrate.
He said Love told him later “she couldn’t breathe.”
Stephanie Aladj testified that she and Love were friends during their first year at UVA, but she said Love “got upset” because Aladj had “been seeing George on and off.”
The two young women repaired their friendship in the fall of 2009, but Aladj testified that she and Huguely “hooked up” more frequently in the months before Love’s death.
Aladj also testified that she saw Huguely the night of the February 2010 choking incident. “He called and said he was coming over,” she said.
She said Huguely stayed for an hour and didn’t mention what had happened earlier that night.