- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 4, 2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. | Investigators are looking into whether a University of Virginia lacrosse player found dead in her apartment Monday had been threatened some time before the killing, a police official said Tuesday.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said investigators had recovered a computer that belonged to the slain woman and are checking it for evidence.

Men’s lacrosse team player George Huguely, 22, was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Yeardley Love, who was also 22.

Documents say Huguely told police he kicked in Love’s bedroom door early Monday, then shook her and hit her head repeatedly against a wall. He also told police that he had communicated with Love by email and took her computer, according to an affidavit filed with a search warrant. Later he told police where to find it, the affidavit says.

Longo said police are interviewing friends, relatives and teammates of the pair “to see to what extent there’s truth to” reports that Huguely may have threatened Love.

The chief said there are no police reports of prior incidents involving the two.

The affidavit said police found Love face down in her bedroom early Monday with a pool of blood on her pillow, a large bruise on her face and one eye swollen shut. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Huguely told them he had an altercation with Love.

“Huguely stated that he and Love had been in a relationship and that the relationship had ended,” the document said.

Earlier Tuesday, his lawyer, Francis Lawrence, said he was confident the death was not intentional.

“We are confident that Ms. Love’s death was not intended, but an accident with a tragic outcome,” Lawrence told reporters. He did not elaborate and said he would have no further comment.

Huguely, of Chevy Chase, Md., appeared by videoconference Tuesday at a court hearing, wearing a gray-striped jail uniform. He did not speak during the proceeding between his lawyers and the judge. There was no discussion of bond for him.

Huguely’s parents and stepfather were in the courtroom. They left the courthouse through a back entrance without talking to reporters.

Love’s roommate called police around 2:15 a.m. after finding Love face down on her pillow and unresponsive, the affidavit said.

Love, of Cockeysville, Md., was only weeks from earning a degree and she and her teammates were expecting to end their season by winning a national championship.

Leonard Sandridge, executive vice president of the university, told reporters the campus was saddened, and that the pain is magnified because the accused is “one of our own.”

Kyle Cecil, 22, of Newport News, said he lived on the same hall as Huguely as a freshman, and knew him well enough to say hello. He was shocked to see police cars at the building on his way to class, and more shocked when he learned of Huguely’s arrest.

The lacrosse teams met at least once during the day, but lacrosse players and school officials declined repeatedly to comment, referring to a school statement.

The men’s and women’s lacrosse seasons — both teams are national title contenders — were “not even entering into our thoughts,” athletic director Craig Littlepage said.

The NCAA tournament pairings are to be announced Sunday, and the men’s team is expected to host a first-round game, and the women’s team is also expecting to be included.

Huguely, a midfielder, wasn’t a starter but played in all 15 games this season. He had four goals and three assists. Love played defense and started in three games this season.

Love was “described as an angel by teammates and friends,” Littlepage said.

She played varsity lacrosse and field hockey for four years at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore.

“Yeardley was the core of the personality of the team. She was our laughter, a good soul,” said Mary Bartel, who coached lacrosse at the prep school.

University president John Casteen said in a release on the university’s website that Love “deserved the bright future she earned growing up, studying here, and developing her talents as a lacrosse player,” he said. “She deserves to be remembered for her human goodness, her capacity for future greatness, and not for the terrible way in which her young life has ended.”

Huguely attended the Landon School, a private school in Bethesda, Md.

He pleaded guilty last year to two charges — resisting arrest and public swearing and intoxication — in Rockbridge County, about 55 miles southwest of Charlottesville, according to court records. He paid a $100 fine and about $80 in court costs and was released on supervised probation with a 60-day suspended jail sentence.


Associated Press Writers Dena Potter in Richmond and Dave Ginsburg in Baltimore, Md., contributed to this report.

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