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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A former University of Virginia lacrosse player said he got physical with his former girlfriend but did not kill her, sobbing and saying “she’s not dead” when detectives told him she died, according to a videotape played Friday at his murder trial.
George Huguely V sobbed on the videotape showing his police interrogation and in the courtroom as it was played during the most riveting moment in the nearly one-week trial. One juror dabbed at tears as the tape played.
Huguely, 24, of Chevy Chase, Md., is accused in the May 3, 2010, death of 22-year-old Yeardley Love. The suburban Baltimore woman, also a lacrosse player at the school, was found dead in her apartment bedroom from injuries sustained when her head was slammed repeatedly against a wall, leaving her face battered, bruised and bloody, according to prosecutors.
Charlottesville police detective L.T. Reeves told jurors in Charlottesville Circuit Court she went to Huguely’s apartment hours after Love’s body was found to interview him. She said she quickly considered him a suspect in Love’s slaying after she saw his bruised knuckles and a cut on his arm.
Police found a large hole the bedroom door of Love’s bedroom.
During the interrogation, Huguely said the bruises were the result of playing lacrosse.
Witnesses have testified that Love and Huguely were involved in a volatile relationship, and both had been unfaithful to each other and had publicly argued. Huguely said he had gone to Love’s apartment to talk and she “totally freaked out.”
Huguely acknowledged the two wrestled, he shook her and may have grabbed her neck, but did not strangle her or repeatedly bang her head against the wall, as prosecutors allege.
“We were just going to talk,” he told Reeves. “I never struck her. I never hit her in the face.”
“Did you hit her neck at all?” Reeves asked.
“I never, like, strangled her. I may have grabbed her neck,” Huguely said, describing their physical encounter as wrestling.
“She’s dead? She’s dead? She’s dead?” Huguely asked. “How? How is she dead?”
“You’re here because she’s dead,” one of the detectives said.
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