Former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely was found guilty Wednesday of 2nd degree murder after he beat his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, to death, according to an article on ABC News.
A Charlottesville, VA jury composed of 5 men and 7 women reached a verdict after 9 hours of discussion behind closed doors.
24-year-old Huguely was charged with killing Love in a drunken rage back in 2010 weeks before she was to graduate from the University of Virginia. Both were standout lacrosse players at University of Virginia.
2nd degree murder carries a prison sentence of 5-40 years. Huguely was additionally convicted of grand larceny for stealing Love's computer that carries a prison time of up to 20 years.
Huguely was stoic as he was informed of his punishment Wednesday. He looked over briefly at his family and friends in the front three rows of the courtroom.
Before sentencing, the jurors heard heart-wrenching testimony from Love's mother and sister and then returned to the jury room to decide on a sentence for Huguely.
The defense offered no witnesses at the pre-sentencing hearing even though some had suspected that his parents would testify on his behalf.
For more than 10 days in court, the jurors heard testimony from close to 60 witnesses and watched a tape of Huguely's police statement, graphic photos of Love's beaten body, and read text'sand email's between the two.
Although, Huguely was originally charged with first-degree murder, the judge gave jurors a choice between lesser charges if the evidence so proved including 2nd-degree murder and voluntary as well as involuntary manslaughter.
Neither the prosecution nor the defense denied that Huguely was in Love's room the night of her death and was involved in an altercation with her. Yet, the two sides had differing opinions as to Huguley's intent and the actual role that he played in her death.
During the trial, prosecutors tried to demonstrate to jurors that Huguely was a violent and angry man who beat Love to death in cold-blood, subsequently leaving her to die. Prosecutors claimed that the cause of death was a blunt force trauma to the head.
By contrast, the defense attempted to portray a different side of Huguely. The defense produced evidence demonstrating that he was a troubled young man spurned by alcohol abuse. They maintained that Huguely went to Love's bedroom intending to speak to her, but later the situation heated up and he pushed her around a little. Still they maintained that he did not do anything severe enough to kill her.
Here the defense in a sense won as Huguely was not convicted of the most severe charge that he faced. The jury was convinced that the evidence of premeditation required for a first degree murder conviction was not strong enough to warrant the charge that would have put Huguely away for life.
Yet, jurors still felt that Huguely intended to kill Love and that warranted the 2nd degree conviction. Accordingly, he will be behind bars for a long time.
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