George Huguely Trial Jury Deliberations: Will George Huguely Go Free?

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Jury Options for George Huguely's Possible Convictions

There are two theories under which Huguely could be found guilty of first-degree murder. The first is premeditation, that he had formed a purpose to kill her before doing so.

"The purpose doesn't have to be formed a long time [before], it could be formed quickly right before the killing, but they have to decide that his intent was to kill her," Coughlin said.

The second charge that could lead jurors to a first-degree murder conviction, the felony murder count, does not involve premeditation.

"If they can prove the underlying felony, that he broke in to take her laptop and that he caused her death in the course of the felony, it could still be first-degree murder without premeditation," Coughlin said.

Jurors could also decide on second-degree murder, a "more elusive category to define," according to Coughlin.

"It's a killing without premeditation, but with malice," she said. "We're looking for some callousness or hardness of heart, which could be established by proof that he didn't intend to kill her but hurt her badly and then left her there to die."

Voluntary manslaughter could be the conviction if jurors viewed the alleged killing as a sudden act of "passion because of provocation."

"The idea could be that he was enraged because of fights of the past, fights of that evening ... that he did lash out in a homicidal way," Coughlin said.

The jurors' final option, aside from a not guilty verdict, is involuntary manslaughter, the charge that Huguely's defense attorney said in opening statements should be the harshest outcome jurors should even consider.

"The question is whether he actually caused her death in the course of committing an unlawful act or if he behaved with some kind or recklessness," Coughlin said.

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