George Huguely Trial: Jury Deliberations Begin Wednesday

PHOTO: George Huguely is escorted to Charlottesville Circuit Court by members of the Sheriffs Office for the start of his trial in Charlottesville, Va, Feb. 9, 2012.
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Jurors in former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V's murder trial will now have three days away from court to think about what they have heard and seen before reconvening to decide Huguely's fate on Wednesday.

Huguely faces anywhere from one year to life in prison, based on what the jurors decide.

After Saturday's closing arguments, jurors decided they were too tired to begin deliberations, so court will reconvene on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Court is closed Monday because of the holiday and a grand jury day was previously set for Tuesday.

The jury is made up of 14 people: 12 main jurors and two alternates. There are seven women and seven men, ranging from their late 20s to early 50s.

Over the course of two weeks of the trial, the jurors listened to nearly 60 witnesses, including family, friends and teammates of Huguely and Yeardley Love, as well as a bevy of experts, most of which were medical.

In addition to the multitude of witnesses, the jurors have watched videos, read correspondence and looked at graphic photos.

Defense attorney Fran Lawrence began his closing arguments Saturday with his hand on Huguely's back, stating 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 Saturday, 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 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."

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