George Huguely's Lawyers Say It was Drugs, Not Beating, That Killed Yeardley Love

George Huguely was charged with murdering Yeardley Love in May.

August 19, 2010, 12:29 PM

Dec. 17, 2010 — -- Defense attorneys for the young man accused of murdering his girlfriend, University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love, is arguing that the girl's death was caused by drugs and not by a brutal beating that left her in a pool of blood.

Attorneys for George Huguely, seeking to have a judge to release Love's medical records, presented the testimony of Jack Daniel, a forensic consultant who told the judge that Love's autopsy report indicated that she had Adderall in her system the night she died. The drug, commonly used to treat attention deficit disorder, could have caused her heart to stop beating and for her to die, according to ABC News' affiliate WCAV.

Dr. Bill Gormley, the medical examiner who performed Love's autopsy back in May and concluded her death was caused by blunt force trauma, had noted that Love's skull was not fractured. But he testified that the perscribed amount of Adderall and alcohol found in her system "were not enough to have contributed to her death," according to WCAV.

Earlier this week, the Washington Examiner reported that Huguely, who is being held in a Virginia prison, is trying to work out a plea deal with prosecutors. His next scheduled hearing is Jan. 21, according to the report.

It is not clear on when the judge might decide whether Love's medical records should be unsealed.

Love's murder shocked the tony University of Virginia campus when the 22-year-old was found face down and bloodied in her Charlottesville, Va., apartment in the early morning hours of May 3. Fellow lacrosse player and romantic interest Huguely, 23, was charged with her murder.

Details of what happened between the" young lovers suggests that just three days before Love was found dead she had lashed out against Huguely, according to two search warrant affidavits.

One of Love's sorority sisters told authorities that she witnessed an "altercation" between her friend and Huguely during which "Love hit Huguely with her purse" hard enough to cause all of its contents to be strewn about his apartment.

Later, the friend told police Love realized that her cellphone and camera were missing and that she "believed it was still at Huguely's apartment." Love recovered the camera, but never got her cellphone back, according to the statement.

Days later, Love was dead and Huguely was faced with a first-degree murder charge.

A redacted e-mail exchange between Love and Huguely is also included in the court documents and is believed to have discussed the couple's recent breakup.

Huguely's attorney has long argued that Love's murder was a tragic mistake, and Huguely at the time waved his Miranda rights and told authorities exactly what had happened the night she was killed.

Huguely confessed to police, according to search warrants in the case, that in the early morning hours Monday, he kicked in the door to Yeardley Love's bedroom and shook her violently, repeatedly banging her head against the wall.

Love's body was found later Monday after an early morning 911 call, face down on her pillow in a pool of blood. Her face was covered in scrapes and bruises, according to the warrant, and her right eye was swollen shut.

UVA Changes Disclosure Policy for Students With Criminal Records

In the wake of Love's death, the University of Virginia changed their policy regarding how students are expected to inform the school of any run-ins with the law.

In the days following the gruesome discovery of Love's body, the campus community was shocked to learn of Huguely's prior arrests, including a domestic dispute with his own father on the family's enormous yacht a mile off shore from the glamourous Ritz Carlton Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla.

In addition, Huguely was arrested in 2008 after wrestling a Lexington, Va., female police officer to the ground while resisting his arrest for public intoxication.

The officer 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."

And in September 2007 he was booked for reckless driving after speeding at 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. In November 2007, he was arrested for possession of alcohol as a minor when he was 19.

Now students will be prompted the first time they log on to the university's internal website whether they have been arrested or convicted of a crime since they were accepted into the university.

Huguely is being held without bond in the Albermarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

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