Angry e-mails become focus at lacrosse trial

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A former University of Virginia lacrosse player and the ex-girlfriend he is accused of killing traded allegations of infidelity and angry e-mails in the months before her death, with one of his messages saying: “I should have killed you,” prosecutors said Wednesday.

Huguely  Steve Helber
Steve Helber
Huguely

George Huguely V faces murder and other charges in the May 2010 death of Yeardley Love, who played on the woman’s lacrosse team. During opening statements Wednesday, Huguely’s attorneys said he was very drunk the night Love died and incapable of plotting to kill her. They also disputed evidence prosecutors said shows Love’s head hit a wall several times and that she died of blunt-force trauma.

Prosecutor Dave Chapman said Huguely had a pattern of violence against Love, and he intended to kill her and steal her laptop to get rid of incriminating evidence. Two days before Love’s death, Huguely accused Love in an e-mail of having a relationship with a University of North Carolina lacrosse player, Chapman said.

“When I found out about Mike Burns, I should have killed you,” the e-mail said, according to Chapman.

Love showed the e-mail to her teammates, who will testify about it, the prosecutor said.

Huguely and Love dated for two years, but in their final year of college it became an on-again, off-again relationship, which contributed to arguments and the exchange of angry and abusive e-mails.

Defense attorney Francis Lawrence said a videotape of Huguely’s interview with police will show he is not a calculating criminal.

Huguely went to Love’s apartment to talk and work things out, not to kill her, Lawrence said. He took the laptop as “collateral” – a way to get her to continue to talk to him, not to destroy evidence, the defense attorney said.

Huguely wasn’t aware Love was dead until police informed him later, Lawrence said.

SANDUSKY CASE: Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer filed court paperwork Wednesday arguing that jurors in his child sex abuse trial should be chosen from the community where he lives and suggesting that a trial delay might be the best way to address the intense publicity generated by the case.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola wrote that the former Penn State assistant football coach is opposed to a request by the state attorney general’s office to bring in out-of-county jurors, saying publicity about Sandusky’s case has been so pervasive that jurors from other counties will also have been saturated with news coverage.

Sandusky “believes selecting jurors from a county outside Centre County will involve the same difficulties that the parties and the court will face in selecting a Centre County jury, and the jurors from any other county in Pennsylvania will face the same challenges and conflicts in being fair and impartial,” a defense filing stated.

The attorney general’s office asked for an out-of-county jury last week. Prosecutors said in that motion that people who live near Penn State might not be able to “insulate themselves” from the school and would face “a Gordian knot of conscious and even subconscious conflicts and difficulties,” Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said Wednesday.

Frederiksen said the court’s deadline to ask that the trial be held outside Centre County has passed.

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