Jury pool narrows in ex-UVa lacrosse player case

AP News
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Posted: Feb 07, 2012 7:21 PM
Jury pool narrows in ex-UVa lacrosse player case

Attorneys on Tuesday narrowed their pool of potential jurors in the trial of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player accused of killing his ex-girlfriend.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers settled on a group from which they will choose 12 jurors and three alternates for the trial of George Huguely V. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and five other charges in the May 2010 death of 22-year-old Yeardley Love, a member of U.Va.'s women's lacrosse team.

Twenty-eight candidates were to return Wednesday morning because one potential juror said she would be traveling a day after the trial is expected to end. She was expected to be dismissed. Each side will choose to remove six.

Opening statements were expected to start Wednesday after the jury is seated in the trial, which is expected to last about two weeks.

In a process that opened Monday, lawyers asked potential jurors about their knowledge of the case and whether they had formed opinions on Huguely's guilt or innocence. Attorneys also asked the candidates about views on alcohol and domestic violence as well as any connections to the University of Virginia.

Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire sent the 28 candidates home for the night with instructions barring them from viewing or reading any media coverage of the case.

Huguely, of Chevy Chase, Md., watched the proceedings Tuesday while seated between his lawyers.

Court documents allege the 24-year-old defendant told investigators he kicked in Love's bedroom door, then shook her during an argument, causing her head to hit a wall several times. The state medical examiner's office said the 22-year-old Love died of trauma to the head.

Defense lawyers contend Love, of Cockeysville, Md., died from an irregular heartbeat partly caused by taking a prescription drug and drinking alcohol.

Huguely and Love had been involved in a two-year relationship that ended not long before her death, according to authorities. The woman's death occurred at the end of the 2009-10 school year when both would have graduated, stunning many on the 21,000-student campus in Charlottesville.

Hogshire issued an order barring defense attorneys, prosecutors and Charlottesville police from commenting on the case.