CHARLOTTESVILLE—Former University of Virginia student George Huguely is charged with first-degree murder of women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love.
A search warrant obtained Tuesday details the condition in which police and Yeardley's roommate found her body. The report says her roommate found her face down in her pillow in her bedroom. There was a pool of blood on the pillow, a large bruise on the right side of her face, and she also had bruises and scrapes on her chin.
Police spoke with Huguely who admitted that he was involved in an altercation with Yeardley and that during the course of that altercation, he shook her and her head repeatedly hit a wall.
Huguely's attorney Francis Lawrence appeared in court with his client Tuesday morning in Charlottesville.
"Because this case involves an active ongoing investigation, any comment on the specific facts would be inappropriate at this time," Lawrence said. "Until more information becomes available, it is our hope that no conclusions will be drawn or judgments made about George or his case. However, we are confident that Ms. Love's death was not intended, but, an accident with a tragic outcome. In the meantime, George is withdrawing from the University of Virginia and remains in the custody of authorities. Grief has descended on this community as we attempt to understand what happened and why. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who grieve this terrible loss."
The above text is an update to the story from Monday:
In a news conference Monday, Charlottesville police released information about the murder of a 22-year old University of Virginia student and women's lacrosse player.
Police Chief Tim Longo said officers were called to the apartment of Yeardley Love, on 14th Street in Charlottesville, Monday morning at around 2:15 a.m. for what they thought was an alcohol overdose. They say Love shared the apartment with two roommates and one of them called 911 after finding her unresponsive. Neither had been home prior to making the discovery.
Longo said paramedics tried to revive Love but she was pronounced dead on the scene. He said there were obvious physical signs of trauma to Love's body, but said police believe no weapon was used.
Charlottesville Police have charged University of Virginia student and men's lacrosse player George Huguely, 22, with first-degree murder. According to police, Love and Huguely had been in a relationship previously. However, Longo could not elaborate on what may have unfolded between the two Sunday night. He would not say what lead police to arrest and charge Huguely. He said the couple did not live together, but Huguely did live nearby.
Longo said both Love and Huguely were fourth year students, calling them "extraordinary athletes." He said be believed neither had prior criminal histories.
In an unusual twist, CBS 6 discovered a report featuring Huguely as a high school student filed by the Washington Post from several years ago. The article was part of the paper's coverage of the Duke lacrosse rape case. In it, Huguely's father is quoted as warning his teenage son to avoid becoming associated with controversy. The article now appears ironic given Monday's charges (see article linked on left).
The police chief said a stampede of calls and requests has come into his office since this story broke Monday morning and he said he knew why it is generating so much interest:
"We have the best and brightest from all over the world that come to this university and thrive. These were obviously two extraordinary athletes and I can only assume as well, that they were gifted and talented students," said Longo. "Certainly when something this tragic happens in a community but particularly in a community like Charlottesville, it's going to garner some attention. I think because of the status of these particular students and their abilities and what they brought the community it makes it even more prominent from a media perspective."
Leonard Sandridge, COO and Executive Vice-President at UVA also spoke at Monday's news conference and said therapy is being offered to students and UVA is pledging full cooperation and support as part of this investigation. A visit to the school's website showed two messages to students on campus.
Sandridge said coaches along with the entire community at UVA are grieving and showing visible signs of disbelief. He said there's no word on what will happen now with the school's lacrosse teams. The UVA men's team is currently ranked first in the nation.
Chief Longo didn't want to go into too much detail about the case, he did confirm though his investigators are trying to track down friends of the victim and the suspect to ask about the pair and what's been described by friends as a rocky, sometimes volatile relationship.
A teacher at the Maryland Prep School Love attended had this to say about her former student: "There wasn't a mean cell in that girl's body. She was goodness epitomized and I may never coach another student like her again."
Both Yeardley Love and George Huguely were scheduled to graduate from UVA later this month.