George Huguely V estimated to a police officer that he had as many as 20 drinks the day that he broke into his ex-girlfriend's room and, police charge, killed her.
Huguely's alleged victim, Yeardley Love, had also spent much of that day drinking. An autopsy determined that her blood alcohol level was about twice the legal limit.
Heavy drinking in a culture of elite level college lacrosse -- Huguely and Love both played on the University of Virginia's nationally ranked lacrosse teams -- has been a recurring theme during Huguely's murder trial this past week.
Huguely, 24, is charged with first degree murder as well as five other charges in the death of Love.
Love, 22, was just weeks away from graduation when her battered and lifeless body was found in her bedroom early Monday mornng on May 3, 2010, several hours after Huguely paid her an angry visit.
On Sunday May 2, 2010, Huguely began the day drinking at a father-son golfing tournament, where friends said he was already inebriated enough at tee-time to be struggling to hit the ball.
"He was acting different than normal," Tim Fuchs, one of Huguely's lacrosse teammates testified. Fuchs said that she saw Huguely at 9 a.m. and could tell he had been drinking.
Fuchs saw him again at 5 p.m. and told the court that Huguely was drunk, slurring his words and making inappropriate jokes despite the presence of his father.
When a police officer investigating Love's death asked Huguely how much he had had to drink that Sunday, Huguely replied, "Maybe four or five beers at golf and two glasses of wine at dinner, then three beers, then three more…maybe five beers after dinner?"
The officer pressed the point that Huguely had consumed a lot of alcohol that day and suggested that it may have led to him kicking through Love's door later that night when he went to see her.
"Maybe that made me kick open the door, but I just wanted to talk to her," Huguely said in the tape. "Should I have gone over while drinking? Maybe not, but that made me emotional and made me want to go talk to her."
Multiple friends and teammates of Huguely's said they had grown worried about amount of alcohol the star lacrosse player was drinking. One friend said that Huguely would drink four times a week, getting drunk each time. His friends were so worried that they were planning an intervention for him after the lacrosse season.
"His drinking was becoming an issue," friend Elizabeth McClean said.
Alcohol had been a problem for Huguely in the past.
In 2008, Huguely was arrested for public intoxication and resisting arrest after he wrestled a Virginia police officer to the ground. The female officer had to taser the 6-foot-2, 209 pound Huguely after he shouted racial and sexual obscenities at her and threatened, "I'll kill you. I'll kill all of y'all. I'm not going to jail."
In 2007, Huguely was booked for reckless driving and possession of alcohol as a minor.
Love had also spent her final day alive drinking.
Caitlin Whiteley, Love's roommate who discovered her body, testified that Love and a group of friends had been drinking at a brunch at popular UVA burger bar Boylan Heights from noon to 3 p.m. Whiteley said she and Love went back to their apartment to do school work from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. They then returned to Boylan Heights for a friend's birthday party, where there was more drinking until 10 p.m.
Whiteley testified that Love was "kind of drunk, but not so out of control drunk." Whiteley went out again and Love stayed home, saying she might meet up with her later.
Love's blood alcohol level was .16 or .18, according to the defense attorneys. The legal limit in Virginia is .08.
On Friday, jurors were shown an hour and three minute long video of Huguely's taped police interrogation, hours after Love was found dead. At the beginning of the interview Huguely describes an unpleasant attempt to talk with Love, telling her to "chill out" and admitting "shook her a little."
"We were just going to talk," Huguely told the officer in the video. "It was not at all a good conversation."
He was apparently unaware that he left his former lover dying on her bed.
When the officer tells Huguely that Love is dead, a panic-stricken Huguely then repeats over and over that he doesn't believe it.
"I didn't do that to her. I wouldn't have done anything to her. I refuse to believe she is dead," he said through tears.
The trial is expected to continue at least through next week.