George Huguely trial breaks for the holiday
In closing arguments in the murder trial of former UVA lacrosse player, George Huguely V, his own attorney, Fran Lawrence, referred to Huguely as a "stupid drunk....just a lacrosse player...a boy."
Saturday night shortly before 7 p.m., the judge turned the case over to the jury for deliberation and told them it was up to them as to whether or not they wanted to begin deliberations.
After being inside the courthouse on Saturday for about ten hours, members of the jury decided to wait to begin their deliberations when the court comes back in session on Wednesday at 9 a.m.
As Huguely looked down at the defense table, Lawrence told the hushed, crowded courtroom that Huguely isn't capable of a cunning plot to kill Yeardley Love.
Lawrence says the former U.Va. lacrosse player is clumsy and awkward and doesn't know how to handle himself well, but that he didn't intend to harm Love to the point of killing her and that it's indisputable she was alive when he left her apartment.
Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman, speaking at times in almost a whisper, was moved to tears in his closing arguments in the trial of UVA lacrosse player, George Huguely V. He stood directly in front of the jury and said that Huguely kicked through Love's bedroom door in a rage that had been building.
In mere minutes, Chapman said, the man who outweighed love by 100 pounds, "effectively incapacitated her...leaving her to die over the course of two hours alone on her bed.
Chapman's voice broke with emotion. Several jurors also appeared visibly moved as the prosecutor spelled out the six charges against Huguely, including felony murder, that there was no question given the severity of Love's injuries, it was "an intentional act."
Now, the jury will consider the medical and emotional aspects of the case.
George Huguely trial: Prosecution, defense present closing arguments
His voice so soft, as almost to be a whisper, Chapman was moved to tears in his closing arguments.
Speaking about Huguely's former girlfriend, Yeardley Love, Chapman says, "This woman is never going to be able to speak to you".
Love's mother Sharon and sister Lexie wiped at their eyes as the veteran prosecutor methodically walked the seven man, seven woman jury through the events leading up to Love's death on May 3, 2010.
Chapman read from a letter recovered from Love's room after her body was discovered in her Charlottesville apartment. The letter, handwritten by Huguely was an apology for an episode where he put Love in a chokehold.
Her screams got her help by other lacrosse players, including a romantic rival of Huguely's.
"Alcohol is ruining my life", wrote Huguely, his words read aloud by the prosecutor.
Chapman says alcohol is never an excuse for killing someone.
"Can you imagine how she felt?" Chapman asked the jurors, showing the photographs again of her battered face, bruised neck, arm and leg.
Pointing out the size difference between Huguely and Love, "He was almost a foot taller, 100 pounds heavier than her, she never had a chance".
Chapman says Huguely made no effort to help Love knowing she was hurt after their encounter.
"Can you imagine the sight and sound and fury" of Huguely kicking in Love's door?
Chapman says Love's mouth injuries indicate "she couldn't scream" because Huguely covered her mouth.
Huguely stares straight ahead as prosecutor asks jury "can you imagine how that felt?" He describes Love's battered head, face and body.
"This isn't an accident," Chapman says. It was "intentional" behavior by Huguely . "Voluntary intoxication" is not a defense for murder.
In the defense closing argument, Huguely’s attorney, Fran Lawrence, doesn't contest "an altercation occurred". But asks jury, "where's the intent to kill?
“We have evidence the couple was friendly two days before Love's death.”
Lawrence also says Love assaulted Huguely in front of witnesses during a prior encounter.
Huguely didn't go into Love's apartment to hurt her, the lawyer says. He didn't plan what happened. "It was overwhelmingly tragic"
“Huguely was a stupid drunk," Lawrence says.
The lawyer also directs jurors to listen and watch video police statement where he "had no clue" Love was hurt or dead.
Huguely had no motive to rob Love of her laptop, Lawrence says. He took it so she would come talk to him. It was recovered in dumpster.
The seven men and seven women serving on the jury that will determine George Huguely's future weren't seated in court during this Saturday session until after 11am.
As the families of both Huguely and Yeardley Love looked on, two hours this morning was spent by the lawyers in the case and Judge Edward Hogshire working through a prosecution objection.
Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman presented emails between a defense medical witness and a defense attorney.
The email seemed to notify Dr. Ronald Uscinski, a Washington, D.C. based neurosurgeon of the testimony provided earlier in the week by a prosecution witness.
Judge Hogshire said the development was "troublesome" but let Dr. Uscinski testify to a "limited" amount of information.
A series of prosecution witnesses, including the medical examiner contend that Love's death was due to blunt force trauma and she suffered two separate brain injuries.
They concluded that what lead to Love's death came from a whip-lash type injury to her brain stem.
Defense medical experts say while Love had injuries to her right eye, her scalp and forehead, there was no damage to her brain.
Once again, Love's mother, Sharon left the courtroom for a time during this morning's testimony that included showing autopsy photos and images of Love's brain.
After a two day delay due to the illness of defense co-counsel Rhonda Quagliana, Huguely attorneys forecast being able to wrap up their case today.
Court will resume Wednesday. It is already running past the two weeks originally estimated by both the defense and prosecution.
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