University of Virginia Murder Suspect George Huguely Had History of Violence

Slain UVA Lacrosse Player Yeardley Love Will Receive Posthumous Degree

ByABC News via logo
May 3, 2010, 2:33 PM

May 6, 2010— -- The slain University of Virginia lacrosse player who was brutally beaten will receive a posthumous degree with the rest of her class.

Thousands turned out for a vigil Wednesday night in honor of Yeardley Love, 22, whose battered body was discovered in her off-campus apartment early Monday morning.

Students sobbed, including Love's teammates, as they listened to tributes to Love and as University President John T. Casteen III told them to not ignore signs of abuse in their relationships or in the relationships of people they know.

"Tuck away in your soul the knowledge that neither Yeardley Love nor any woman attacked ever deserved it," Casteen said.

At a news conference earlier in the day, Casteen said Love would receive her degree posthumously with the rest of her class later this month.

Love's funeral is scheduled for Saturday.

Her ex-boyfriend, varsity men's lacrosse player George Huguely, also 22, has been charged in her murder. Though Huguely was by all outward appearances a star all-American athlete, troubling past incidences of violence and alcohol abuse continue to bubble up as police press their investigation.

Lexington, Va., Police Officer Rebecca Moss wound up on the ground, wrestling with Huguely during an arrest in 2008 that ended with a conviction for public intoxication and resisting arrest.

"We did end up on the ground at one point," she said. "I kept telling him stop resisting, he needed to comply with my orders."

Moss said she was forced to use a Taser on the 6'2" and 209 pound Huguely after he hurled racial and sexual obscenities at her and threatened her life, telling the officer, "I'll kill you. I'll kill all of y'all. I'm not going to jail."

A Rockbridge, Va., courthouse clerk told ABC News that Huguely was charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest and public swearing. He received 60-day suspended sentence, six months probation, a $100 fine and was required to complete 50 hours of community service and attend substance abuse counseling. According to the clerk, Huguely completed all of these requirements.

Charlottesville police investigating Love's death are also looking into claims of previous violence between Love and Huguely, who dated for more than a year, but broke up shortly before her death. The two were set to graduate May 23. Huguely has withdrawn from the university.

Police have reportedly seized a red-stained lacrosse T-shirt from Huguely's apartment, along with a shower curtain and a letter addressed to Love.

The murder and subsequent arrest has stunned people who knew the students.

"That wasn't George that night," his neighbor, Peter Preston, told ABC News. "That was somebody that had taken over."

Click here to read the police report on George Huguely

But former FBI special agent Brad Garrett said Huguely's star athlete status and all the attention that earned him likely influenced his behavior and how he dealt with others.

"They almost feel like they're royalty," Garrett said. "The problem with all that is they never really develop empathy, they never develop an ability to care about other people."

Love's body was returned to her family Wednesday. An autopsy was completed Tuesday, but authorities have not released a cause of death.