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After Closing Arguments, Jury to Start Deliberations Wednesday

February 18, 2012

The jury has decided to spend Saturday night at home, choosing to begin deliberations in the George Huguely murder trial Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

The decision came after a long day for the jury. They arrived at 9 a.m., saw their first witness at 11 a.m., and heard nearly five hours of closing arguments.

Commonwealth’s attorney Dave Chapman began the closing arguments, saying the night Yeardley Love died in her apartment is like “a scene from a horror movie.”

Chapman posed to the jury, “Can you imagine the sight and sound and fury” as Love lay in her bed before allegedly getting attacked.

“There’s not a scintilla of evidence that she had the slightest idea he was coming,” Chapman said.

He reminds the jury of testimony of Huguely’s roommates, who asked him where he had been upon returning home early in the morning of May 3, 2010.

“He can’t tell them where he’s been because of what he did,” Chapman said.

Upon describing the one-time Division I lacrosse player as a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than Love, Chapman told the jury “Love never had a chance.”

“If Yeardley Love wasn’t effectively disabled, would we not see movement on her part to get help?” he rhetorically asked the jury.

Chapman also recalled an email Huguely sent Love in the week before her death, in which he said, “I should have killed you,” out of his jealousy with her relationship with a lacrosse player from the University of North Carolina. Chapman says that email conveys the anger, the resentment and the extremes of his emotions.

During his one-and-a-half hour argument, Chapman became emotional – his eyes watering and his voice shaking.

Defense attorney Fran Lawrence responded in a nearly two-hour closing argument, making some surprising comments. In describing the same email from Huguely to Love, he said it was a hyperbole, similar to the way a parent reprimands a child.

He also called his client a “stupid drunk, but not calculated. He’s a boy athlete.”

Lawrence objects to the prosecution’s seeking first-degree murder, saying it has nothing to do with what happened in this incident.

“Did he ever hurt her with the intent to rob her? He did not,” Lawrence said. “Involuntary manslaughter needs your careful consideration in the case.”

In a rebuttal statement, Chapman responded to Lawrence’s comments.

“He may not have known he killed her,” Chapman said. “He sure as heck knew he hurt her badly.”

Because of holidays and scheduling conflicts, the jury will return to the courtroom Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. to begin deliberations of the six charges Huguely faces. The two alternates of the 14-member jury have not yet been identified, but they will be once deliberations formally begin.


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