Jury selected in murder trial of Virginia lacrosse player

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 08, 2012 12:04 PM
Jury selected in murder trial of Virginia lacrosse player

By Ian Simpson

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (Reuters) - A jury was seated Wednesday and opening statements were underway in the first-degree murder trial of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, a fellow athlete at the school.

George Huguely V, 24, has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and five other accusations in the death of Yeardley Love, 22, in May 2010.

Both were seniors at the University of Virginia and on the school's nationally-ranked men's and women's lacrosse teams when police say Huguely, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, broke down the bedroom door of Love's apartment.

He shook her until her head banged against a wall and left her bleeding, according to news reports.

A roommate found Love dead, face down on a pillow. Defense attorneys have called the death a tragic accident.

On Wednesday, the third day of jury selection, attorneys picked a panel of seven men and seven women to hear the case against Huguely. Twelve jurors ultimately will decide his fate, with two people serving as alternates.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

As Huguely left Love's apartment, prosecutors say he took a laptop computer that police have scanned. Police also have scanned email and phone records to recover messages recorded as the couple's relationship ended.

Besides the murder accusation, Huguely faces charges of robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, grand larceny and murder during a robbery.

Love, of Cockeysville, Maryland, died from blunt force trauma to the head, the state medical examiner found. Huguely's attorneys have suggested a drug used to treat attention disorders could have caused a heart problem that contributed to her death.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Paul Thomasch)