On Monday, April 11, 2011, Sharon Love sat next to her daughter Lexie in the front row of the cavernous chamber of the Charlottesville Circuit Court. Across the courtroom sat the Huguely clan—Marta and her new husband; George IV; George V’s sister, Teran; his grandmother Elizabeth; and other relatives.
The families had traveled to Charlottesville for the first substantial preliminary hearing in the criminal case. Lawyers presented evidence to help Judge Robert Downer determine whether to send charges to a grand jury. Huguely, the accused, waived the right to appear in person or by video.
A parade of witnesses, starting with Caity Whiteley, testified about the details of that first weekend of last May. Whiteley spoke clearly and without emotion about discovering her roommate. “Her hair was all messed up,” she said. “I pulled it from her face and saw the blood. Her eyes didn’t look right. I shook her shoulder. She didn’t respond.”
Francis Lawrence, a tall attorney whose white hair and mustache invite comparisons to Mark Twain, outlined the way he would defend George Wesley Huguely. “He had no intention, no motive,” Lawrence said. “George did not know that Miss Love was dead or had any significant injury.”
During the interview with Huguely on Monday, May 3, videotaped by police, he appeared not to be aware of Love’s fate.
“She’s dead, George,” Detective Reeves said on the video, “and you killed her.”
“I didn’t, I didn’t, I did not,” Huguely responded. “I never did anything that could do that to her.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman presented witness after witness who punched holes in Lawrence’s defense. Most damaging was testimony by the accused’s roommate and teammates.
Kevin Carroll, Huguely’s roommate, said he was drinking with Huguely in their apartment that Sunday night. Huguely was “angry” because “his dad wanted him to sign something he didn’t want to sign.”
Carroll testified that he went out for more beer just after 11. When he returned, Huguely wasn’t there. Huguely returned after midnight and said he had been downstairs in teammate Chris Clements’s apartment with Clements and another lacrosse player, Will Bolton.
But Clements testified that he had heard Huguely coming down the stairs and locked his door. When Huguely asked to visit, Clements said, “Go away—I’m studying.”
Will Bolton also testified that he hadn’t been with Huguely in Clements’s apartment, as Huguely claimed. With that, Huguely’s alibi was punctured.
This article appears in the May 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.