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Judge Partially Unseals Love Case File - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Judge Partially Unseals Love Case File

Posted: Updated: June 22, 2010 11:36 AM EDT

A judge has partially unsealed the case file in the Yeardley Love murder case. Former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely is accused of killing Love last month.

Tuesday Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins decided to unseal the reason why search warrants and other court documents in the Love murder investigation are being kept secret.

There are five reasons the documents were sealed, but all boil down to the prosecutor not wanting potential jurors to know any more details about the murder until he unveils them during the trial. Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman, who asked for the sealing, cited:

  • That it's an active case.
  • The national publicity.
  • That there's specific information about items police seized.
  • That police are still gathering evidence.
  • And that nothing should hurt finding an impartial jury.

The commonwealth's attorney appeared visibly frustrated in court Tuesday. He kept saying that making certain information public will make it hard for him to prosecute the case. 

Part of the information in those sealing orders will be redacted at the request of Chapman. He argued that certain information, including names and places that have been searched, need to be removed and the judge agreed.

We are also getting new but limited details on when and where police searched. On May 05, two days after the murder, all three search warrants and the list of items taken from the suspect, his apartment and the victim's apartment were sealed. We were able to obtain the three warrants and one of the returns, detailing a men's lacrosse t-shirt with a red stain on it, before the ruling came down.

On May 06 documents were sealed relating to an unknown search in Albemarle county. The same day another seal on a search warrant for a vehicle in the city. One day later the final seal for another vehicle in Charlottesville.

A preliminary date was set for July 01 at 1:00 p.m. That is when the attorney for the media outlets can challenge the seal on the search warrants. But at this point there is no word on if they will make that challenge.

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