Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: UVA Murder 'Maybe... Could've Been Prevented'

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: UVA Murder Maybe... Couldve Been PreventedABC News
The governor of Virginia called for changes the reporting of criminal records today and said that the murder of a University of Virginia lacrosse player might have been prevented if someone who knew about the accused's violent history had spoken up.

The governor of Virginia called for changes the reporting of criminal records today and said that the murder of a University of Virginia lacrosse player might have been prevented if someone who knew about the accused's violent history had spoken up.

"I think the broader question is, there's ways to get information to administrators obviously from police, from court records, but it brings the larger question of the obligation to all of us in our society [that] if we see things that look wrong or strange behavior or violent behavior, to really be more involved," Gov. Bob McDonnell told "Good Morning America" today. "Particularly in domestic-related situations, can other people intervene because they see things going on... and maybe this could have been prevented."

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George Huguely, the varsity lacrosse player accused of brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend and fellow lacrosse player Yeardley Love last week, had a history of violent behavior including several run-ins with the law.

McDonnell said he met with UVA President John Casteen to discuss what can be done legally to make sure administrators are aware a student's violent history on or off campus in hopes of avoiding a repeat of what he called "an unprecedented tragedy.

"There's reviews going on now. We're conducting our own look at the facts after all the investigation is done," he said. "When the general assembly comes back next year, we can make those changes."

A Mothers PainPlay
A Mother's Pain

George Huguely's Mother: 'Yeardley Was Part of Our Lives'

The governor's comments came just a day after Huguely's mother broke her silence about the case to say she is "devastated and confused" by what her son is accused of doing.

"As a mother, I never expected to be in a situation like this," Marta Murphy said in a statement Tuesday. "Though my pain is great, it will never come close to the anguish felt by the Love family...The pain [her mother Sharon] and her family are suffering is something that no family should ever have to endure."

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Murphy released her statement because of numerous media requests.

"It has been difficult to remain silent during this dark, tumultuous time," she said, but asked that her family be left alone. "Along with my family, I am devastated and confused. We are all trying to understand and cope as best we can."

Murphy said she knew Love because of her son's long relationship with her.

"Yeardley was part of our lives... She was a sweet wonderful young woman with a limitless future. We also know her mother, Sharon," she said.

While Murphy said she is grieving and praying for Love's family, she also said she will stand by her 22-year-old son, who was accused in her killing.

"I hope that people can understand that both George's father and I love our son. We will support George in whatever way we can -- just as any mother or father would do for their child," she said.

"As a person of faith, I continue to pray for the Love family, for Yeardley's friends and, for my son George," Murphy said.

Yeardley Love Laid to Rest

Love, 22, who played on the university's nationally ranked lacrosse team, was laid to rest near her family's home in Baltimore last weekend. Family, friends, former classmates and teammates filled Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, in honor of the Love.

For Love's family, her mother Sharon and older sister Lexie, the last week has likely been nothing short of a nightmare, beginning with the gruesome discovery of Love's body by her roommate, face-down and bloodied in her bed on May 3.

Police were called to Love's off-campus apartment at 2:15 a.m. by her roommate, who suspected that she may have just had too much to drink. But when authorities were unsuccessful in reviving Love, evidence of trauma became clear and they arrested Huguely at his own apartment just a few blocks away.

Waiving his Miranda rights, Huguely told Charlottesville police that he had kicked through the door to Love's bedroom. Police documents said Huguely told investigators that he shook Love and her head banged into the wall several times.

He also told police he and Love had broken up and that he had communicated with her through e-mails. Before leaving her room, according to the documents, he took her computer and "disposed of it." The police document says Huguely told investigators where to find Love's computer.

Police later reportedly seized a red-stained lacrosse T-shirt from Huguely's apartment, along with a shower curtain and a letter addressed to Love.

Huguely was charged with first-degree murder and held without bond. His lawyer said during a bond hearing that Love's death was an "accident."

Scheduled to graduate on May 23 with the rest of her class, Love now will receive her degree posthumously.

Dr. Phil: Yeardley Love's Murder Highlights Issue of Domestic Violence

While university officials have said that they were not aware of any past issues Huguely had with the law, the 22-year-old had been picked up on several charges before last week.

In December 2008, his father, George Huguely IV, called Florida police to the family's yacht with a domestic abuse complaint after George Huguely V jumped into the Atlantic Ocean and began swimming to shore, according to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office.

No arrests were made, and Huguely was picked up by a passing boater without injury.

Also in 2008, Lexington, Va., Police Officer Rebecca Moss wound up on the ground, wrestling with Huguely during an arrest in 2008 that ended with the officer hitting Huguely with a Taser, and a conviction for public intoxication and resisting arrest.

Huguely had two other run-ins with the law. In September 2007 he was booked for reckless driving after speeding at 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. In November 2007, he was arrested for possession of alcohol as a minor when he was 19.

Huguely's history of violence "should not have gone unnoticed," Phil McGraw said, but he also said it's very difficult for school officials or coaches to prevent something like this from happening.

"Oftentimes this violence is so situation specific," McGraw said. "Three women die every day from this kind of… domestic violence. Girls that are by 20-24 are in the highest risk group. This is a serious problem. …These intimate relationships…are fueled so much by jealousy."

McGraw said that this case spotlights the issue of domestic violence towards young women.

"It gets a lot of attention when it's a star athlete, but this is something that permeates every area of our society," he said.

McGraw hopes that schools will start teaching girls to spot the risks and warning signs of an abusive relationship. Many women "don't know that this type of violence is preceded by emotional control, threats," he said. "If you're in a relationship like this, the last thing you want to do is confront your abuser…talk to somebody that you trust. Somebody responsible that can help you find an exit strategy."

CLICK HERE for a list of resources for stopping domestic and dating violence.

ABC News' Lee Ferran contributed to this report.