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Correction: Virginia Lacrosse Slaying story
Question of the Day
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - In a story March 4 about an appeals court affirming the second-degree murder conviction of former University of Virginia lacrosse player, The Associated Press reported the victim’s family had sued U.Va. and athletics employees. That lawsuit had been withdrawn and a second one is still pending.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Ex-U.Va. lacrosse player murder conviction upheld
Court affirms conviction of former U.Va. lacrosse player in slaying of ex-girlfriend in 2010
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An appeals court on Tuesday affirmed the second-degree murder conviction of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player who fatally beat his ex-girlfriend, a killing that ushered in changes in state law aimed at limiting relationship violence.
The Court of Appeals of Virginia found no reversible errors in George W. Huguely V’s conviction for the slaying of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old from suburban Baltimore who was a member of the women’s lacrosse team at U.Va.
Huguely, of Chevy Chase, Md., is serving a 23-year prison term in Virginia on the second-degree murder charge and for a grand larceny conviction, which he did not appeal.
Huguely’s attorneys raised several issues related to his February 2012 trial in Charlottesville. A key claim was that Huguely was denied counsel when one of his attorneys, Rhonda Quagliana, fell ill during the trial and the judge agreed to proceed despite Huguely’s objections.
Noting that the judge excused the jury for a day and consulted with Huguely’s co-counsel, the court wrote, “The trial judge certainly did not arbitrarily disregard Huguely’s right to Ms. Qualiana’s presence at trial.”
Huguely’s attorneys also questioned the seating of jurors who expressed opinions about elements of the case. Juror 32, for instance, indicated in a questionnaire that she felt Huguely was guilty, “based on conversations with others and based on the media reports that she had seen,” the court wrote.
“However, that does not tell the entire story…” the court wrote. “Juror 32 also wrote by hand, ‘Do have an open mind!’” The juror also said she could arrive at a verdict based on the facts.
The appeals court also rejected claims that jurors were not properly instructed on the meaning of “malice” under Virginia law.
Jurors who convicted Huguely heard testimony that the two had a volatile, off-and-on relationship that included infidelity, physical violence and heavy drinking. One witness, for instance, said he had seen Huguely put Love in a chokehold.
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