Opening statements start in Huguely murder trial

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - 6:17 p.m. Wednesday - Court wraps up.

5:56 p.m. Wednesday - Charlottesville Police Officer who responded to the apartment is now on the stand.

5:54 p.m. Wednesday - Tennis player testified.  The tennis player went back to the apartment with Caitlin Whiteley to try to revive Yeardley Love.

5:05 p.m. Wednesday - Whiteley testified about finding Love's body.  She said, "It was just a mess.  There were cuts on her face and it was just messed up."  She started crying, "She wasn't moving."

4:31 p.m. Wednesday - Whiteley says Love "had a relationship" with a lacrosse player from University of NC in the spring 2010.  She says she spoke with Huguely about an incident where he squeezed Love's neck with his arm.  Whiteley says he was mad Love was telling people about the squeezing incident.

4:20 p.m. Wednesday - Roommate testifies.  Caitlin Whiteley is now on the stand.  She is Love's roommate and lacrosse teammate.

4:16 p.m. Wednesday - Love's neighbor testifies.   The neighbor who lived directly under Yeardley Love took the stand.  She heard a loud noise from the apartment above her.

2:20 p.m. Wednesday - Prosecution calls first witness, Yeardley Love's murder.

2:14 p.m. Wednesday - Highlights from Defense Attorney's Opening Statements.  Francis Lawrence is George Huguely's attorney.   He says, "This is a staggering tragedy.  Nothing we can do or say will lessen that grief."

Defense attorney Lawrence admitted there are pieces of evidence in the Commonwealth's case that are "powerful."  He listed, as examples, Yeardley is dead. The door was broken in. The computer was gone. But, he told the jury, "The whole story is much different."

Lawrence told the jury not to make any decisions until they hear all of the evidence.  He said Love & Huguely started dating in their 2nd year, but, "They both had folks they were hooking up with and it created drama."

The defense attorney said Love told friends about the earlier choking incident, but told friends they were just playing.

Lawrence says days before the murder, Love hit Huguely with her purse after hearing had been drinking Patron with another girl. 

Lawrence says they were both drunk the night of the murder.  He says, "There's a description of George being so drunk he couldn't hit a golf ball."

The defense attorney says jury will hear testimony that testimony that Love's blood alcohol level was .16 or .18.

He says, "It was a perfect storm of terrible, terrible instances."

Lawrence talked about what to expect from Huguely's interview with police, saying Huguely didn't realize Love was "injured in a significant way."

Lawrence says Love did not die from a lethal brain injury.

He said it is likely that she died of positional asphyxia. (drunk, passed out, unable to breath)

Lawrence says Huguely is not capable of sustaining a lie and planning a murder, saying "He's not that complicated.  He's not complex.  He's a lacrosse player."

Defense will argue that all of the charges Huguely faces require intent.  The jury was listening very closely.

"We believe you'll find he had no intent to do anything other than to talk to her," Lawrence said.

1:37 p.m. Wednesday - Opening statements ended.  Here are notes from the prosecution.

Commonwealth described the events leading up to the murder.  Yeardley Love and her roommate hd been out at a local bar, Boylan Heights.  The prosecutor Dave Chapman says, "There was alcohol consumed in significant amounts."  

Both came home.  The roommate, Caitlin Whiteley, went out again.  Love stayed home.  Huguely had played in a golf tournament that day.   

Chapman says,  "He had been drinking, the evidence will show, since early Sunday morning." 

A downstairs neighbor heard a loud noise from Love's apartment, and later saw a man leave. 

Whiteley came home, with a guy. She found Love's body on her bed.

Chapman says Love died of blunt force trauma to the head that caused brain injuries.  At that point, Yeardley's sister began dabbing tears away with a Kleenex. 

Chapman also said, "You will see injuries consistent with a hand on her throat.

Chapman says Huguely came to Love's home to confront her, assaulted her, then stole her computer. 

Said the previous Friday, Huguely had sent an e-mail that included the quote,  "That's so f=%$#^ up I should have killed you."  The e-mail was in reference to Yeardley seeing another guy.

"The next time George Huguely saw her alone, he killed her," Chapman said.

Chapman said Huguely threw the computer in a dumpster, then went home and lied to his friends about where he'd been.

Police went to talk to Huguely and saw he had some injuries and considered him a suspect.  The prosecution will play a video of Huguely's interview with police and show Love's injuries and autopsy photos.

Huguely's DNA was under Love's fingernails.  And her DNA was under his fingernails.

On the ADHD medication issue, Chapman says there is no illness or abnormality that would cause Love not to wake up. 

Chapman also said

that in an earlier fight between Huguely and Love, he had choked her, but stopped when another guy came into the room. 

Chapman says, "This was a turbulent relationship.  It deteriorated. It deteriorated with ultimately him killing her."

10:37 a.m. Wednesday - Jury is seated.  There are 12 jurors, six men and six women.  There are also two alternates.  The defense objected to the use of alternate jurors.  Judge decided to proceed anyway.   

9:52 a.m. Wednesday - Final jury selection was supposed to start at 9:30 a.m, but still have not started.  Attorneys are back in the judge's chambers. 

Finishing up Jury Selection :  They are close to seating a jury in the trial against George Huguely. The former UVA lacrosse player is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love.

On Wednesday attorneys from both sides will narrow down the jury pool to 12 jurors and 3 alternates.

George Huguely left the courthouse last night heavily guarded by police.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have spent the last 2 days with jury selection.

Last night they narrowed down the pool to 28.

The final phase of jury selection will start this morning... And once the jury is seated... Opening statements will begin.

Huguely is on trial for killing his ex-girlfriend Cockeysville native Yeardley Love.

University of Baltimore law professor Byron Warnken says most jurors make up their mind right after opening statements.

"If you're the prosecutor... There is no question what you're going to find from this."

When court resumes this morning prosecutors and defense attorneys will have the chance to dismiss potential jurors they don't like.

Get trial updates throughout the day by visiting  http://www.abc2news.com/generic/news/newswildcard5/Yeardley-Love-Murder-Trial and by searching for #lovemurder on Twitter.

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