Former University of Washington student George Huguely V was recently convicted of 2nd degree murder. The conviction came after a trial that was watched closely by San Diego criminal defense attorneys and captured nationwide media attention. The jury has recommended that he be sentenced to 6 years in prison.
Huguely, a former star lacrosse player at the University Of Virginia was tried on charges related to the murder of his girlfriend Yeardley Love. Love, also a University Of Virginia student, was found dead at her off-campus apartment. Autopsies revealed that she died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Huguely and his lawyers did not deny that he confronted Love at her apartment on the day of her death. They also did not deny that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time. By his own admission, he had consumed several alcoholic beverages just before he rushed off to her apartment to fight with her about her alleged infidelity.
Prosecutors alleged that Huguely killed Love in a fit of alcohol-induced rage. They alleged that he had made threats to kill her during earlier altercations, and simply made good on those threats. A jury has now agreed with them, and has found Huguely guilty of second-degree murder and grand larceny. The jury has recommended that he be sentenced to 26 years in prison, and his sentencing is scheduled for April 16.
The jury however did not convict Huguely on charges of first-degree murder, finding little evidence to show that the murder was premeditated. It also acquitted him on several other charges, including robbery and breaking and entering to commit larceny.
What this trial also did seem to point to was the close nexus between alcohol abuse in college, and crimes among college students. The Huguely murder trial was closely linked to alcohol use, and his friends admit that Huguely had a drinking problem. Even his defense lawyers dwelled on this fact, calling him a ‘stupid drunk’ who meant no harm, while trying to explain his actions on the day of Love’s death.