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Fight before Love's death: Police

Former Virginia lacrosse players George Huguely V and Yeardley Love got into a physical altercation and exchanged e-mails in the days leading up to Love’s May 3 death, according to search warrant affidavits released Wednesday.

The affidavits, released by the Charlottesville Circuit Court, reveal partially redacted findings of the searches of two white-colored Apple laptop computers that were seized from the bedroom of Huguely’s off-campus apartment May 3.

Yeardley Love
Love. (AP)

Huguely, a 22-year-old Chevy Chase native who had been a member of the men’s lacrosse team at Virginia, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Love, his former girlfriend of more than two years. A hearing in Huguely’s case has been set for Oct. 8.

According to the affidavits, an unidentified witness told police the day after the alleged murder that Love had told her about an e-mail Huguely sent to Love in the previous week.

The witness told police she may have seen the e-mail while she and Love were in Chicago. The Virginia women’s lacrosse team, of which the 22-year-old Love was a member, played at Northwestern on April 30 in Evanston, Ill.

Following the physical altercation at Love’s off-campus apartment on the night of her alleged murder, Huguely took Love’s personal computer, he later told police. Huguely said he threw Love’s computer into a dumpster after leaving Love’s residence that night.

George Huguely V

Huguely. (AP)

Two Charlottesville detectives recovered the computer shortly thereafter in a dumpster on Sadler Street in Charlottesville, according to the affidavit. The computer’s serial number matched records of a computer previously sold to Love that were provided by Dell Inc.

During a forensic search of Love’s computer that was consented to by Sharon Love, Yeardley’s mother, police discovered fragments of an e-mail with a statement that was redacted in the affidavit. A fragmented e-mail is "a partial portion of an email that has been retrieved from the deleted files of a computer that was previously sent or received," according to the affidavit.

Police believe the e-mail was sent in response to a previous e-mail sent by Huguely. Two other witnesses independently told police of their knowledge of recent e-mail correspondence between Huguely and Love.

Witnesses also told police Love lost her cell phone and a camera following a verbal argument with Huguely at his apartment in the days leading up to her alleged murder. A friend of Love’s stated she witnessed an altercation between Love and Huguely “a few days before Love’s death,” according to the affidavit.

“She stated that Love and Huguely were arguing and Love hit Huguely with her purse,” the affidavit stated. The witness, whose named was redacted, “stated that when Love’s purse hit Huguely all her stuff flew out of her purse.”

The witness helped Love collect her belongings and leave Huguely’s apartment. Love later told the unnamed witness that she was missing her camera and cell phone and that she thought the items had been left at Huguely’s apartment, according to the affidavit.

The witness said Love asked her to go to Huguely’s apartment and retrieve the items, which the unnamed witness attempted to do. The affidavit stated that the witness found the camera, but not the cell phone.

-- Steve Yanda

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 18, 2010; 9:44 AM ET
Categories:  Homicide , Schools , Updates , Virginia  
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The article comments " . . witness told police the day after the alleged murder .. "

How do you have an 'alleged' murder? The police confirmed that the young woman was murdered. I understand that you must used 'alleged' when referring to Huguely as the murderer, but in a clear cut case of murder by whomever, referring to it as an 'alleged murder' is somewhat akin to being 'slightly pregnant.

Posted by: adjjones | August 18, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Rich Frat boy,
argues w/his ex,
she is tired of being bullied,
during his drunken rages,
Rich Frat boy,
In a jail cell,
and should remain there,
till sentenced to die himself
All the king's money and all the kings men, can't make Georgie different
from what he really is,
Rich Frat boy is an adult, and

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 18, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

adjjones, you read my mind. I'd suggest changing the sentence guys.

Posted by: ahaak | August 18, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Legally it is an alleged murder. The police don't confirm whether or not the act was murder. The courts do.

Posted by: jeadpt | August 18, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Legally it is an alleged murder. The police don't confirm whether or not the act was murder. The courts do.

Posted by: jeadpt
Thanks jeadpt....that's what I was going to type up. Huguely may get convicted of manslaughter which is not murder in a legal sense. He may not get convicted (not likely). He may take a plea to a lesser charge (hopefully the prosecutor doesn't go this route). Until the courts confirm it the only thing that's 100% certain was she was killed.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | August 18, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Alleged murder

Actually, he admitted that he killed her. By definition, that's murder - not alleged murder.

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 18, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

If Huguely is the 5th (as in George Huguely V), then the first four must not have been too swift.

Posted by: MikeV2 | August 18, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

No, jeadpt is right--the police do not decide whether the act was "murder," as that is decided by the courts. It is confirmed that Love was killed by another human being, but that is "homicide," and not necessarily "murder." There are various forms of homicide, such as manslaughter, accidental homicide, vehicular homicide, and murder. Murder has distinct elements, as do the other forms of homicide. Whether those elements are proved by the prosecution and decided by a jury (usually, sometimes by a judge) determines whether the homicide is "murder" or not.

Posted by: joemomma3 | August 18, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Murder = pre-meditation, i.e., he planned it. If it was heat of the moment, or he is declared insane, then the lesser definitions (homicide, manslaughter) would apply. Given the strength of the evidence, and the apparent confession (or at least admission he physically assaulted her), the prosecutor will weigh the evidence and decide on the likelihood of a guilty verdict if it goes to trial, or he will go for a plea agreement of murder or something less, but that guarantees jail time. It's only murder if he planned to do it or if he agrees to that charge.

Posted by: rogernebel | August 18, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

For clarification on all the feedback relative to my initial comment regarding the "alleged murder", let's revert back to the definition of murder: the taking of a human life by another human, simply put.

If, as argued, that the term 'murder' does not apply until the court has adjudicated the matter, then the reporter should simply refer to the matter as a homocide - not murder, correct?

For purposes of everyday conversation, this young lady was the victim of a murder - not an alleged murder.


Posted by: adjjones | August 18, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

No, adjjones, you still are missing the point. For purposes of everyday conversation, this young lady was the victim of a homicide, not a murder. It's not like saying someone's "pregnant" -- it's more like saying someone has a tumor; you can't say whether that tumor is cancerous or benign until you test it. Similarly, you can't say whether a homicide is a murder or manslaughter (or justifiable, for that matter) until the person is tried.

Everyday conversation should be precise -- don't call something a murder until it's been proven to be so. Otherwise, you end up with people on juries who might convict someone of "murder" just because they killed someone, whether that act was explainable, justifiable, or pre-meditated.

Posted by: gr8day4bsbll | August 18, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Gr8day4bsbll is spot on. I hope I never have to stand trial before a jury "of my peers" in this country.

Murder is the UNLAWFUL killing of another with premeditated malice. The fact that she is dead, and he admitted to killing her is not enough to state she was "murdered". It must also be proven that he killed her unlawfully with "malice of aforethought". Until then, the murder is still alleged. Obviously, there are many killings that are not unlawful (self-defense) and killings without premeditated malice (manslaughter, etc...)

Posted by: lita826 | August 18, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Jesus Christ. Run a smaller photo of Yeardley next time.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | August 18, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Lists of mis-used words in English often include the words "alleged" or "allegedly" because, well, they are so often mis-used--as they are in the piece by Steve Yanda. The Washington Post needs some editors who will catch grammatical errors as they do not add to the credibility of print or oral media.

Posted by: Barbin | August 18, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

The young lady is dead & you foo's want to argue over semantics just so he can spend 10 years less in jail?

He deserved to die because he killed another person wether by plan or rage.

Who gives a ffffffff?

Let some dude smash your love one's head in & see if you are arguing verbiage.

Stupid white people.

Posted by: Rocc00 | August 18, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

huguely's dream team will overawe a va. district judge and prosecutor and a jury will understand that a drug dealer really did it and if huguely is allowed to play enough golf the real killer will be found. too bad love's family cannot hire a special prosecutor to prevent a nicole simpson/ron goldman farce.

Posted by: george32 | August 18, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

One can say he is the murderer but until a jury convicts he will be called by the court and newspapers as the alleged killer...He can say until the cows come home that he killed her but that means nothing in a court of law until the conviction or lack of...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 18, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse


Actually the term is "alleged homicide," "the defendant" or "the accused." After Law Enforcement (including the coroner) does it's "paperwork," the file is sent over to the the respective prosecutor's office for filing. There are several degrees of homicide (involuntary manslaughter, manslaughter, Murder II (life imprisonment) and Murder I (used to be "Crispy Critters") and several defenses, such as insanity, temporary insanity, self defense and so forth.

It is the prosecution's burden to prove their case and until it has been tried and the sentence has been rendered (a person is innocent until proven guilty), by a Trier of Fact, it is "alleged."

Sorry to bust your bubble, but until a defendant has been convicted, the proper word is "alleged."

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | August 18, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I knew many guys like this in college. Frat boys who at 19 already thought they had a free pass through life. They thought they were the chosen ones and thought they could do just about anything with impunity. This guy probably still thinks he can get this reduced to a lover's spat gone terribly wrong, an "accident". Remember the preppy murder case in NYC and what a three ring circus that became?

Posted by: zanki | August 18, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

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