George Huguely doubled over, put his hands over his face and cried in court today as he watched a videotape of himself being grilled by police and being told his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love was dead.
"I have to tell you something," Det. Lisa Reeves tells Huguely after he had answered questions about the night's events. "She's dead. You killed her."
"She's dead? How is she dead?" Huguely asked repeatedly. "Please, please tell me she is not dead."
"George, I wish I could, but I can't do that. She's 22 year old and the life's gone out of her," Reeves said.
A panic-stricken Huguely then repeats over and over that he doesn't believe Love is dead, that he wants to see her and that he didn't murder her.
Huguely screamed and cried in the video and he broke down again in court today as he watched his statement on a monitor.
Huguely was leaning over his knees with his head in his hands, crying. Loud sobs could be heard coming from Love's family, who could not see the video but could hear the audio.
On the tape, Huguely is heard telling Reeves, "I didnt do that to her. I wouldn't have done anything to her. I refuse to believe she is dead."
He said the two were wrestling on the floor, but that he never struck her.
Before finding out Love was dead, Huguely told police in his video-taped statement that when he went to see his former girlfriend the night of her death he told her to "chill out" and "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."
Investigators called Huguely to the police station for an interrogation hours after the discovery of of his University of Virginia classmate's lifeless body in her bedroom.
"I'm not here to do anything. I'm here to talk to you about this past week," Huguely said he told Love.
Huguely told police that he went to talk to Love because she was "freaked out" about something that had occurred between the two. It is unclear what he was referring to, but there were several volatile encounters between the couple in the weeks leading up to Love's death. Huguely had been caught with Love in a chokehold and Love had attacked Huguely with her purse in an apparent fit of jealousy.
Huguely said that while he was trying to talk to Love, she repeatedly banged her own head against a wall.
"Her back was against the wall talking and she started getting all depressive," he said. "I told her to chill out and shook her a little."
"She kept saying, 'No, no, no stop it,'" Huguely said. "It was not a good conversation."
The police officer asked Huguely if he choked her or punched her in the neck.
"I may have grabbed her a bit by the neck, but I never strangled her," Huguely said. "We were wrestling. I pushed her onto the bed and left."
Reeves testified right before the video was played. She said that Huguely cooperated with police when asked to come to the station and signed a document stating that he understood his Miranda Rights.
"I noticed bruising on the knuckles and a fresh cut on his arm," Reeves testified. "He seems like a reasonable suspect for this crime."
"I felt he was not free to leave," Reeves said.
The court has been highly sensitive to privacy throughout the trial, showing graphic photos of Love's lifeless body only to jurors and not to the media or the public present in the courtroom. The video was also positioned so that the jury could watch, but the press and the public in the courtroom could not see it.
Huguely, 24, is charged with first degree murder as well as five other charges in the death of Love.
Love, 22, was a star lacrosse player at the school and a senior just weeks away from graduation. Huguely was also a lacrosse player for the school's nationally ranked team.
Prosecutors allege that an enraged Huguely allegedly kicked through the door of Love's bedroom the night she died and shook her, banging her head against the wall, before leaving her bleeding. A bloody Love was later found face-down on her bed by a roommate. Her face was covered in scrapes and bruises, according to a police warrant, and her right eye was swollen shut.
The damaged door was presented as evidence today along with Love's blood splattered comforter. Jurors also were shown about 100 photos from the crime scene, prompting a juror to ask for a break after looking at the grisly pictures.
The defense has suggested that Love's death may have been caused by a fatal combination of Adderall and alcohol that could have stopped her heart and that jurors should consider Huguely's role in her death as involuntary manslaughter at the most.
The first prosecution witness on the stand today was Dr. Renu Virmani, a renowned cardiovascular pathologist. Virmani said she was obtained by the medical examiner to see if she could "find related cause of death in [Love's] heart."
"I came to the conclusion that nothing was wrong with her heart that caused her death," Virmani testified.
When asked if a heart problem could have led to Love's brain hemorrhaging, Virmani said, "I have seen at least 300 hearts a year for over 30 years and that's not possible."
Virmani was the 26th witness for the prosecution in a trial that has been filled with drama and intimate revelations about Huguely and Love's relationship.
On Thursday, the man whose on-and-off relationship with Love allegedly infuriated Huguely V testified that he once witnessed Huguely trapping a hysterical Love in a violent choke hold.
Michael Burns, a University of North Carolina lacrosse player, told jurors that in February 2010, he heard cries of "Help me, help me," coming from Love's bedroom and went in to find Huguely throttling Love.
"I saw George's hands around Yeardley's neck," Burns said. Prosecutor Warner "Dave" Chapman had Burns stand up in court and demonstrate what he saw.
Huguely released her and turned to the wall as Love ran out of the room. Burns said that she was crying hysterically and said to him, "Thank you so much. I couldn't breathe."
Burns told the court that although he and Love were not dating, they had "hooked up" a few times over the course of their college years, including the night he walked in on the choke hold. The last time they had been together was April 25, 2010. Love was found dead on May 3.
The relationship between Burns and Love angered Huguely who allegedly said in an e-mail to Love days before her death, "When I found out about Mike Burns, I should have killed you."