CRIME

Charlottesville residents react to George Huguely verdict

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George Huguely's guilty verdict and recommended sentencing comes after an emotional two-and-a-half week trial filled with graphic testimony from both sides of the case.

News of the verdict led to a host of emotions from people who live in Charlottesville and those closely following the proceedings in the courthouse.

The heavy drinking and physical abuse helped shed a negative spotlight on the college life at the University of Virginia.

"I think that without a doubt, that it should have been second degree," said Charlottesville native Monica McComsey.

"I think that there was definitely a violent act there -- malice -- but without intent, so I think second degree was the right one," said Charlottesville native Jacob Busofsky.

McComsey and Busofsky were both born and raised in Charlottesville. Like many in this town they've followed the Huguely trial closely. They believe that although Huguely was found guilty of second, not first degree murder, justice was done.

"I would have preferred to see first degree murder," said Jesse Jones. Jones believed Huguely's abusive behavior towards a woman warranted first degree.

"If you're rich in this country, you get different chances than a poor person," Jones said.

Charltottesville is a small town that has never seen anything like this trial.
Many here are glad after two years it is all finally over.

"It was a terrible tragedy, and I'm glad that it was finally put to justice," a person said.

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan said in a statement: "The jury now has rendered its verdict and a young man – a former member of our community – has been found guilty for the death of fellow student Yeardley Love."

"As Professor Anne Coughlin reminded us on Feb. 2, the conclusion of a trial like this may bring a momentary sense of justice or retribution, but our judicial system can never restore to a family what it has lost. Yeardley's family, teammates, sorority sisters and friends – indeed all of us at the University – continue to feel the loss of this promising young woman. It remains now to each of us to commit to caring for one another and, when we see someone in trouble, to having the courage to intercede and offer assistance," she said.

"Our sympathy and compassion go to the Love family, as well as to the Huguely family, as they face the future and their personal grief," the statement read.

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