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Prosecution presents video testimony

Evidence emerges from night of incident; defendant admits to shaking Love, denies any responsibility for her death

Jurors viewed video testimony Friday, which was taken after the detainment of former University student George Huguely, showing his apparent shock at the death of ex-girlfriend and former University student Yeardley Love. Huguely stands accused of the first-degree murder of Love.

Huguely repeated again and again, "I did not kill her. I didn't, I didn't, I did not."

Charlottesville Police Detective Lisa Reeves said Huguely cooperated when she brought him to the police station for questioning between 7:30 and 7:40 a.m. Reeves told Huguely initially that the police wanted to interview him for an assault case without telling him that Love had died, or that he was under suspicion.

When Reeves brought Huguely in for initial questioning as a person-of-interest, however, she said she noticed "bruising on [his] knuckles" and a "fresh cut on his arm." Reeves added she formed a "reasonable suspicion" of Huguely's guilt.

Huguely, sitting to the jury's right between his attorneys, began to cry softly, wiping his face with a tissue while listening to the video testimony.

Ten minutes after he was informed of Love's death, Huguely seemed to recover from his shock only to realize five minutes later that he had been implicated in her death.

Huguely repeated more than 10 times throughout the video testimony that he had gone to Love's apartment that night only "to talk" to her about the last chaotic week of their relationship. He referred to Love as his "former girlfriend" and said she reacted "on the defensive edge" initially when he knocked on her bedroom door.

Sitting in the front row of the courtroom, Love's mother Sharon and older sister Lexie could not see the video screen and instead stared intently at Huguely throughout the entire testimony.

Jurors, however, could see Reeves questioning Huguely to build a narrative of the evening of Love's death.

Huguely said Love had refused to let him into her room and had initially asked him to leave. He admitted to kicking in and unlocking her bedroom door only after being questioned repeatedly by Reeves. He said he "shook [Love] a little bit" but never struck or hit her. At one point, Huguely said, the two fell on the floor together and Huguely prevented her from standing back up.

"We were wrestling, and I pushed her on the bed" and left, Huguely said in the video. "I never strangled her ... [but] I may have grabbed her neck."

About 50 minutes into the interview, Reeves informed Huguely that Love was dead. Huguely seemed shocked, insisting "she's not dead" repeatedly and asking "How?" several times.

"You just told us," Reeves said to Huguely in response to his inquiries.

Huguely, however, refused to believe Love was dead, denying any responsibility for her death.

"I never did anything that could do that to her," Huguely said, the emotion clearly audible in his voice.

In the afternoon, Forensic Detective Mike Flaherty presented a photographic tour of the crime scene and submitted evidentiary items he encountered after reporting to Love's apartment May 3.

Flaherty introduced pictures of "red stains consistent with blood" found on Loves' comforter, pillow case, top bed sheet, lap top case and towels from on the bathroom floor, and also brought each item into the courtroom.

He then displayed photographs of Love as he found her that morning - with her right eye swollen shut and red stains marking the left side of her face. Her neck showed redness and more red stains, and there was an abrasion under her chin. Both her arms and legs had apparent contusions and discoloration.

The detective said as he examined Loves' wounds and the investigation progressed, it became "a necessity to examine anything inside that could be a potential cause of the injuries seen on Loves' person." He said he discovered no evidence of impact - specifically blood, hair or flesh - or damage to any objects he recovered.

Flaherty then unveiled the door, which Huguely allegedly kicked to unlock, revealing a large hole next to the doorknob and further damage to the door's exterior which extended for roughly a foot. He produced strands of Love's hair recovered from the door's "jagged wood pieces."

While describing the scene, the detective said the toilet lid and seat were up when he arrived, and he found a crushed Natural Light can in the trash. He also noted the wall had an off-white, almost grayish discoloration and presented a swab from the wall as well as the original drywall as evidence.

On cross-examination, Flaherty said that during his initial visual examination he discovered no damage to the wall nor noticed any items disturbed other than the ones previously mentioned.

Flaherty also testified to finding an empty prescription bottle for 10 mg Adderall in Loves' room, which the defense argues is related to Love's death.

 

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