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Did Landon Lacrosse Coach Know George Huguely V Was a Violent Drunk at UVA?

A civil suit filed by Yeardley Love’s family claims Huguely had allegedly assaulted another UVA student—the daughter of his former high school lacrosse coach.

George Huguely V’s losing streak in Virginia courts against a murder conviction are likely to continue Thursday when he faces sentencing for killing Yeardley Love in May 2010.

And when the criminal case concludes, the civil cases could present more pain for Huguely and his family, members of Washington’s business elite for more than a century. New charges in the civil suits paint an even darker portrait of Huguely, nail the system for allowing his behavior to worsen, and bring Landon School back into the tragic affair.

Albermarle Circuit Court judge Edward L. Hogshire is scheduled to rule Thursday on a jury’s recommendation that Huguely, 24, spend 26 years behind bars for killing Love with his bare hands more than two years ago. Both were seniors at the University of Virginia at the time. Lawyers for Huguely had tried to postpone the sentencing, and asked Hogshire for a new trial. The judge ruled against Huguely on both matters.

Legal observers predict Hogshire will affirm the jury’s verdict of second-degree murder and the 26-year sentence.

“The trial went slowly and methodically,” says Hawes Spencer, editor of the Hook, a Charlottesville weekly that covered the case. “There’s no community urge to go softer on George Huguely. It would be very controversial if he softened the verdict. Looks like he’ll be a 44-year-old man when he gets out of jail.” That’s based on two years he’s served and other potential reductions. Virginia does not have parole.

During the trial in February, prosecutors presented evidence that Huguely had a history of violent behavior, especially when drunk. They convinced jurors that Huguely, previously a star lacrosse player at Bethesda’s Landon School, had been drinking all day with his father and friends days before he was to graduate. Huguely and Love, also a lacrosse player, had dated for years but were estranged. Huguely admitted to kicking in Love’s apartment door, struggling with her, and leaving her bleeding on her bed.

Based on those facts, Love’s mother, Sharon, and sister, Lexie, have filed two civil suits, each for $30 million. One charges Huguely with wrongful death. The more interesting and detailed case charges Huguely’s UVA lacrosse coaches, Dom Starsia and Marc Van Arsdale, the school’s athletic director, Craig Littlepage, and the Commonwealth of Virginia with gross negligence.

The Loves claim that Huguely’s coaches knew Huguely had beat up another lacrosse player whom he suspected of kissing Love. The coaches counseled the two and urged the victim to seek medical help, but “no action was taken” to suspend Huguely or refer him for treatment.

The lawsuit also claims that Huguely assaulted a tennis player he saw walking with Love.

In the most surprising claim, the Loves charge that Huguely allegedly assaulted “a young woman, also a UVA student, whom Huguely accused of telling her father, Huguely’s former high school lacrosse coach, about his chronic intoxication and rage… .”

The student was Claire Bordley, daughter of Rob Bordley, the veteran coach of Landon School’s often top-ranked lacrosse team.

“If the civil case goes to court,” says Spencer, “we may hear these details that paint a picture of a young man whose outburst against Yeardley Love is not only not unusual but par for the course. He comes off as a thug.”

If the case goes to trial, maybe we will find more reason to believe Yeardley Love’s death might have been prevented.

  • Musings

    As Originally POSTED: April 22, 2011 at 8:07 am

    How many times was George seen abusing her by their friends? He had to be physically pulled off of her to stop him from choking her, in public, in a bar, shortly before he killed her. It is documented by THEIR friends, shortly before the choking incident that he had struck her (and then somehow won her back). Her friends expressed that they were worried for her safety being in a relationship with him, and had counseled her to that effect. Even his FATHER had to call the police on him for being physically out of control on their yacht (the "domestic disturbance" incidence where he jumped in the water to "run" away). As for Landon, and specifically George’s Lacrosse & Football Coach: When you did not severely reprimand George for stealing your car (even as a joke), you missed a grand opportunity to teach George a lesson. You missed the opportunity to teach him the concept of integrity, respect for others, respect for authority, and the concept that there are some lines you do not cross, ever, and especially not for the purpose of demonstrating power or inflicting your will upon others. This is a lesson that George DESPERATELY needed to learn, and never did. When that opportunity to teach him presented itself, you failed him. (Perhaps if Landon hadn’t failed to teach him these things, he might have “respected” the locked door between him and Yeardley, and she would still be alive today.) In fact, having attended Landon for the better part of my childhood, this came as little surprise to me. Regardless of the school’s stated rules, the behaviors that are rewarded at Landon, rewarded by attention, popularity, recognition, acceptance (especially acceptance by faculty), etc., in effect teach the exact opposite values as those championed by the school’s code, and this begins at the earliest levels. These rewards teach: self-centeredness, self-indulgence, greed, entitlement, aggressiveness, disrespect / bullying, advancement at the expense of others, arrogance, the objectification of women (e.g. “Fantasy Draft” was a perfect example of the perverted male-centric attitude that permeates Landon social culture)), etc. I would also add that the other private schools that I am familiar with do not share these attributes that predominate at Landon, and these character flaws and the environment in which they thrive, are not common to those institutions and their students (at least not nearly to the same extent). It is imperative that the State of Virginia take all steps necessary to ensure that Huguely is never given even the opportunity to commit this offense again.
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