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Police, EMTs offer testimony

Love unresponsive when police arrive; resuscitation efforts lasted 24 minutes, Blackwell says

On May 3, 2010, at 2:24 a.m., Charlottesville police responded to a dispatch reporting an “alcohol overdose” at a 14th Street apartment, Charlottesville Police Officer K.W. Blackwell testified at the murder trial of former University student George Huguely yesterday. Huguely is charged with the first-degree murder of ex-girlfriend and former University student Yeardley Love.

Blackwell described entering the apartment and being directed to the bedroom, where he saw Love’s body lying on the ground “unconscious” and “unresponsive.”

After he determined Love was not breathing, Blackwell began administering CPR until the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad arrived.

Three emergency medical technicians spoke yesterday about their attempts to resuscitate Love that night. Resuscitation efforts lasted 24 minutes and included “several rounds of CPR,” medication and intubation, Rescue Squad member Michael Hanshew said.

By the time the EMTs left, the apartment had been declared a crime scene.

Both police officers and medical responders testified there was a hole in the door to Love’s bedroom.

Testimony included reference to photos of the scene. Charlottesville Police Det. Sgt. Shawn Bayles said the “huge hole in the door” made him concerned about a possible crime. When he received the original dispatch, “I was expecting to find no damage,” he told the court.

He told the rescue squad to continue their work but explained they were “now in an active crime scene,” he said.

Yesterday’s proceedings also focused on medical details, crucial to the defense’s theory that Love died from something other than blunt force trauma, including complications from Adderall consumption. The defense also contends that Love’s visible injuries may have been the result of CPR.

The prosecution introduced Medical School Prof. William J. Brady as an expert in emergency medicine and CPR. Referring to photos from the scene, he confirmed that rescue squad members correctly administered CPR the night of Love’s death.

He also noted the chance of resuscitation is “quite small” for patients who are “flat-lining.” The chance of survival is less than two percent, he said.

The prosecution also called Dr. Danny Mistry, who served as the primary care physician for all University athletes while Love was at the University.

He explained that in the past, the University performed electrocardiograms (EKGS) on student athletes using Adderall. Love was screened three times – when she first entered the University in fall 2006, while on Adderall in May 2009 and while off the medication in Sept. 2009. Mistry said the EKGs showed nothing out of the ordinary and found no electrical abnormalities in Love’s heart function.

Testimonies also addressed Huguely and Love’s troubled relationship in the months leading up to her death.

Former North Carolina lacrosse player Mike Burns recounted opening the door to Huguely’s bedroom at a February 2010 party after “[hearing] a girl saying, ‘Help me, help me!’” He said he found Huguely with his arm around Love’s neck, while she struggled to escape. Huguely released her after the door opened, and Love got up and ran out of the room, he said. Love told Burns she couldn’t breathe and was “hysterically crying,” he said.

During the defense’s cross examination, Burns also admitted to “hooking up” with Love occasionally between summer 2008 and April 2009.

Huguely’s friend and former teammate Tim Fuchs also spoke yesterday, recounting the night he and Huguely returned to Huguely’s apartment with two female high school seniors. He said Love came into the apartment that night and yelled at Huguely. She was “upset that we were up there with these two girls,” Fuchs said.

Former University lacrosse player Brian Carroll, a 2010 graduate, said Huguely’s drinking had begun to increasingly concern their group of friends that spring. Huguely would drink three to four nights a week, Carroll said, and would become intoxicated each time. Carroll said Huguely was “significantly” drunk – badly slurring his words and unable to hold a conversation – when Carroll saw him on the afternoon of May 2, 2010, the day before Love died.

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