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“We heard a girl yelling, ‘Help me, help me,’” Mr. Burns said.

He said he entered the room and Mr. Huguely released Love and rolled over to face the wall. Love scrambled off the bed and as she was leaving told Mr. Burns, “Thank you so much.”

“She also said she couldn’t breathe,” he said. “She was hysterically crying.”

During cross-examination, defense attorney Francis McQ. Lawrence asked whether Love had talked to Mr. Burns about that night. Mr. Burns said that Love told him that “everything was OK. George was just being crazy.”

Mr. Lawrence also suggested that there were discrepancies in the way Mr. Burns described to police how he had seen Mr. Huguely holding Love and his testimony Thursday.

“I know for sure his arm was around her neck,” Mr. Burns said.

Mr. Chapman used Mr. Burns‘ account to set the stage for what they have said will be evidence showing a violent physical confrontation during which Mr. Huguely repeatedly banged Love’s head against a wall.

Members of the local rescue squad testified that they performed 25 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Love, of Cockeysville, Md., but there was no sign of life. Police said it seemed clear that Love was not the victim of alcohol poisoning, as her roommate initially suspected when she called for help.

Officer K.W. Blackwell, one of the first Charlottesville police officers to respond, said one of her eyes “was swollen shut, bruised and purple.” He added, “When I saw that it was nowhere near the report that was given, I realized something completely different had happened.”

Sgt. Shawn Bayles, a detective, said the first thing he noticed was that the apartment door had been kicked in — enough to ask whether rescuers had to force entry into the room.

“Obviously, she was a victim of some act of violence,” he said.

Love’s unresponsive body was lying on her floor, partially obscured by emergency medical personnel performing CPR. Once he was able to see her face, Sgt. Bayles said, Love had “on the right side of the eye, a large area of discolored black and blue. On her neck and chin there were abrasions.”

Sgt. Bayles said a female member of the rescue squad noted that the toilet seat was up in Love’s private bathroom.

The testimony was accompanied by crime-scene photographs projected from a flat-screen television facing away from family members and reporters in the courtroom. Love’s mother, Sharon, and her sister, Alexis, could be seen crying quietly as the description of Love’s condition was recalled.

Police quickly suspected Mr. Huguely, who was arrested hours after her death and has been in jail since.

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