Disagreement over cause of Love's death in Huguely case
A Charlottesville judge ruled Wednesday morning that the medical records of Yeardley Love, a former University of Virginia women's lacrosse player who was slain in May, will remain sealed until he reviews them and determines whether they are relevant.
During a hearing Wednesday in Charlottesville General District Court, the city's commonwealth's attorney argued against a motion filed by George Huguely V's attorneys to access her medical records from U-Va.'s departments of student health and athletics.
Huguely, 22, of Chevy Chase, who also played lacrosse at U-Va., is charged with first-degree murder in Love's May 3 death.
Huguely's attorneys argued that those records are necessary for an expert's review of her cause of death, while the prosecutor argued that the request for four years or more of Love's medical records is too broad.
A pathologist in private consulting testified that he disagrees with the medical examiner's findings that Love died from blunt-force trauma to the head. Dr. Jack Daniel said his working hypothesis is that Love suffered a cardiac arrhythmia that caused insufficient blood flow to her head. The doctor testified he thinks Love's vascular system suffered from a lack of oxygen and caused "ongoing damage," and therefore Love died from a lack of oxygen.
Witnesses testified that .05 milligrams per liter of amphetamine was found in Love's body and she had a blood-alcohol content of .14. Dave Chapman, commonwealth's attorney, said in court that police found a bottle of Adderall prescribed to Love in a backpack at the scene. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Adderall contains amphetamine.
Dr. William Gormley, a medical examiner with the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Richmond, testified that amphetamine in any dose increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmia. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, an arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of a heartbeat, and while most are harmless, some can be life-threatening if the heart can't pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Gormley said that a cardiac arrhythmia was a "very likely internal event" for Love, although he said he thinks it happened after Love suffered blunt-force trauma injuries.
Daniel, who examined Love's brain, testified that she suffered no lethal injuries to her brain and the damage that the medical examiner found could be ascribed to CPR that a bystander and medical personnel performed on Love.
Francis McQ. Lawrence, one of Huguely's attorneys, said in court today that Love's medical records are material to the case based on Daniel's findings. Huguely is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Jan. 21.
"This is an important time to have available to us very important information," Lawrence said in court.
Chapman said in court that a draft order seeking the information from Love's Adderall prescription bottle would be appropriate, but a request for years of her medical history would be overbroad.
"The court would be authorizing what amounts to a fishing expedition, and that is not permissible under the law," Chapman said in court.
The judge ruled that he would contact the attorneys after reviewing Love's sealed medical history and give them another opportunity to argue over the release of the documents.
Staff and wire reports
| December 16, 2010; 8:10 AM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse, Homicide, Schools, Updates, Virginia
Save & Share: Previous: 2 men hurt in Frederick Co. crash
Next: Chemical spill at downtown hotel
Posted by: jackson641 | December 16, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mike40 | December 16, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 10bestfan | December 16, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mbrumble | December 16, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mbrumble | December 16, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jckdoors | December 16, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: OlSloaner | December 16, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | December 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sshill411 | December 16, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tcquinn | December 16, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: skinfreak | December 16, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: OlSloaner | December 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JiBot | December 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: daveydog | December 16, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: TonyManero | December 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: oldiesfan1 | December 16, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: HelloNewman53 | December 18, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse