Defense attorney Fran Lawrence began his closing arguments in the murder trial of former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V with his hand on Huguely's back, emphasizing repeatedly that his client had "no intent" to kill Yeardley Love.
"There's sorrow and loss and sadness on this side of the courtroom as well," Lawrence said. "You're the only 14 people in the world that know what happened.
"George played a role, but it's overwhelmingly a tragedy," Lawrence said, maintaining that there was no intent to kill. "He contributed to her death but he did not kill her. He left her there alive and that's not up for dispute."
He referred to Huguely as a "stupid drunk" and "boy athlete" who was not calculating or malicious. Lawrence said Huguely went to Love's apartment to talk to her and to make up, not to kill her.
Lawrence said Huguely and Love were living in a "lacrosse ghetto" of attractive twenty-somethings and that the drama of romance led them to "jilt" each other.
"This is not about making Yeardley out to be the bad guy," he said.
The attorney said Huguely's "I should have killed you" email was an expression, not a threat, which he likened to a parent telling a child, "I will crush you."
The attorney contradicted the prosecution's claim that Huguely slammed Love's head against a wall, saying that Love may have fallen.
Lawrence told jurors to re-watch the video of Huguely's police statement and that they would see from his reactions that he had "no clue" Love was hurt or dead.
The defense attorney reminded jurors of a surveillance tape they saw Friday from the burger bar Boylan Heights the night before Love died that showed her and Huguely holding hands.
"The Boylan Heights Saturday was real," Lawrence said. "It was an affectionate moment between them."
Lawrence told jurors that alcohol ruined Huguely's life, but that he never intended to kill Love.
"Involuntary manslaughter needs your careful consideration," Lawrence said. "If you have any hesitation, that's a reasonable doubt."
Prosecutor Warner "Dave" Chapman delivered emotional closing arguments earlier today, crying as he delivered his final remarks to jurors.
Chapman teared up as he gave the jury his account of the moments leading up to Virginia woman's lacrosse player Yeardley Love's death.
"She couldn't scream ... was it his hand over her mouth? Was it her face being mashed into the floor?" the attorney said. Huguely was almost a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than Love. "She never had a chance."
Chapman read from the letter of apology Huguely sent to Love in February 2010 following an incident in which he had been caught holding a terrified Love in a choke hold. The letter was found in Love's desk drawer after her death.
"Alcohol is ruining my life," Chapman read from Huguely's letter. "I'm scared to know that I can get that drunk to the point where I cannot control how I act."
Jurors were shown the letter earlier in the trial, but its content had not been available to the public or media.
The prosecutor again addressed the email from his opening statement in which Huguely wrote to Love, "I should have killed you," after he found out that she had been with another man.
"These messages convey the depth of his anger and hard feeling toward Yeardley Love," Chapman said.