What can we gather from the video of George Huguely V’s interview with Charlottesville detectives hours after he broke into Yeardley’s Love’s bedroom and fought with his former lover in May of 2010?
The 64-minute tape was shown in court to the judge and jurors during Huguely’s trial in February; reporters viewed it for the first time Tuesday. The court also displayed photos and e-mails entered into evidence.
In the video, Huguely comes off as a wasted frat boy—flip flops, shorts, concert T-shirt—according to reports from the courtroom. At first he’s rumpled but relaxed, chatty even. He describes a day and night of drinking the day before. He describes his relationship with Love in some detail, as if he’s talking to therapists rather than cops.
Lesson number one: Never talk to police without a lawyer, especially when cops read you the Miranda rights. Huguely and Love were weeks away from graduating from the University of Virginia back in the spring of 2010. Both were lacrosse players—Love from Notre Dame Academy in Baltimore County, and Huguely from Landon School in Bethesda. Both were playing for UVA lacrosse teams competing for national championships. Police found Love dead in her off-campus apartment, just up the street from Huguely’s place, in the early morning hours of May 3.
Early in the interview, before cops told Huguely of her death, Huguely said their relationship had soured, that Love had slept with another guy, that she had plans to go to New York after graduation, while he was headed for San Francisco.
Lesson number two: Don’t lie.
Without his lawyer present, Huguely said he had walked into Love's apartment, which was unlocked. Then he admitted he kicked in the door.
He admitted they scuffled but said he never hit her. Then he said, "I may have grabbed her a little bit by the neck."
First he said she got on her bed before he left; then he admitted he tossed her on the bed, and that she had been "flopping like a fish out of water" on the floor. After he had been on top of her.
He first said they were chatting calmly, then he said she was freaked out and said, "Get away from me."
He first told cops he didn't take anything from Love's room. Then he admitted he walked out with her laptop.
The apparent lies were damning enough, but the most painful and revealing truths might have come from the e-mail exchanges that flashed before reporters on video screens.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Love apologized for a fight with Huguely in late April, but the exchange turned nasty and she called him the "team joke," "pathetic," and a "fat piece of [expletive]."
Huguely wrote in one e-mail to Love, "I should have killed you" for cheating on him.
In the most telling e-mail, Love wrote that Huguely was "always too drunk to remember" his actions.
When detectives finally told Huguely that Love was dead--about 50 minutes into the interview--he said over and over, "She's not dead."
Perhaps he didn't remember what he did.
Lesson number three: Stay away from people who drink to the point of becoming violent and don't remember their actions.
A jury convicted Huguely, 24, of second-degree murder. He faces 26 years behind bars. His sentencing is scheduled for August 30.