Huguely Trial Day 2: Jury Selection Continues

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The second day of the George Huguely murder trial began at 9:00 Tuesday morning. Huguely is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love in May 2010.

Tuesday, the exhausting process of picking a jury continued, with more potential jurors in court as the prosecution and defense looked to seat 12 jurors and three alternates.

Tuesday's goal was to retain the needed 27. One of the jurors retained Monday told the judge Tuesday that she had travel plans set for Presidents Day weekend. The trial is slated to wrap up that Friday, but it could go over into the weekend. Judge Hogshire asked her to change her plans over night. Both the prosecution and defense agreed to add one more person to the final pool. Just before 6:30, Judge Hogshire proclaimed that they had "reached the magic number" of 28.

Court will reconvene Wednesday morning at 9:30 to begin final elimination to reach 15 jurors. Opening statements will follow.

Thirty-five potential jurors showed up to court Tuesday morning; six were no shows. Five out of the first group of 15 questioned said they had already formed an opinion and were stricken from the pool. A sixth potential juror was let go after she said it was "not implausible but not easy" to set aside her opinions in the case. Another juror was let go after saying he was interviewed in a newspaper story about the incident and stands by his opinion.  

Questioning Tuesday echoed that of Monday. The judge, prosecution, and defense worked to find a jury that had not already formed a decision and could stay impartial until all evidence was presented in the case. They are also questioning jurors about their relationships with anyone involved with the case, including witnesses. Potential jurors are also being questioned about how graphic images would make them feel. One woman said, "(it) wouldn't be like reading People magazine."

Rhonda Quagliana, the defense attorney questioning potential jurors, repeatedly asked them if they were comfortable with intoxication being a defense against first-degree murder. In Virginia, intoxication is a valid defense for murder in the first degree. This question may be hinting to the defense's strategy as the trial proceeds, possibly to lessen the charge.

She also asked the potential jurors: Would you think less of the defendant if he doesn't take the stand in his own trial - hinting that Huguely will not be taking the stand.

After lunch, the commonwealth made an objection to a defense question to the potential jurors about negative testimony concerning the victim. Before lunch Quagliana asked the group of 15 potential jurors, that if the defense presented negative information about Ms. Love, would they look at the defense as "blaming the victim." Six jurors said they would. The judge advised Ms. Quagliana to work on rephrasing the question.

In an unusual turn of events, one woman questioned after lunch turned out to be the wife of one of the other potential jurors. She said that after 45 years of marriage she doesn't know if she would not be influenced by her husband's opinion if they both sat on the jury. The judge deferred the defense's motion to strike her from the jury pool. During follow up questions the wife said she wouldn't discuss the trial with her husband as long as she "could talk to her cats about it." Both husband and wife were later dismissed.

Some of Huguely's family and friends were not in court Tuesday. They barely took up one row in the courtroom. Love's group of supporters has dramatically grown. During initial questioning of Tuesday's potential jury pool, the judge had to re-read the felony indictments against George Huguely. When he did that, several of Love's friends began to cry.

We also learned Tuesday that in addition to Love's mother and sister testifying, Huguely's father, mother, aunt and uncle are also potential witnesses during the murder trial.

Follow @NBC29Huguely on twitter for trial updates from the courtroom throughout the day.

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  • In Depth: Huguely Trial

    In Depth: Huguely Trial

    An in depth look at the George Huguely trial.  Huguely was convicted on murder charges in connection with the death of Yeardley Love.  Huguely and Love were both students at the University of Virginia.

    Full Story

    An in depth look at the George Huguely murder trial.  Huguely was convicted on murder charges in connection with the death of Yeardley Love.  Huguely and Love were both students at the University of Virginia.

    Full Story