Tuesday, February 21 2012 4:40 PM EST2012-02-21 21:40:54 GMT
Check here for a rundown of the charges George Huguely faces and possible sentencing guidelines.Full Story
Check here for a rundown of the charges George Huguely faces and possible sentencing guidelines.Full Story
The George Huguely trial entered its fifth day with the prosecution continuing its efforts to convince jurors Huguely murdered University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love.
Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman called several witnesses throughout the day.
Dr. Renu Virmani:
Testimony began with more medical experts. Dr. Renu Virmani, a cardiovascular pathologist from Maryland, was first. She detailed her credentials before explaining the process of performing an autopsy. She was asked by the state's chief medical examiner to look at slides of Love's heart to see if something was wrong that could lead to her death. Dr. Virmani told the court she found minor changes, but found "nothing wrong with her heart to account for her death".
Prosecutors asked if there was a "pre-existing heart condition that could have led to her death" - Dr. Virmani said, "I don't believe so." He explained that there was a hemorrhage in Love's heart, but there were no white blood cells, suggesting it was caused after her death.
Dr. Virmani said it likely recurred during resuscitation attempts on Love. He also explained that CPR can cause a hemorrhage in the heart, but in his 35 years of practice, he has not seen it cause a hemorrhage in the brain.
He described the hemorrhage in Love's heart as "microscopic." Huguely's defense team points out that neuropathology is not Dr. Virmani's specialty before he stepped off the witness stand.
Detective Lisa Reeves:
Reeves was called to the stand next. She said she was called by her supervisor to respond to a "homicide" at Love's apartment at 2:45 a.m. on May 3, 2010. Reeves called Love's roommate Caity Whiteley for Huguely's address.
She went to Huguely's apartment, and told him she was "investigating a crime" after he opened the door. Then Reeves informed Huguely they were taking him straight to the police station. On the drive, Reeves noticed bruising on Huguely's knuckles and "fresh cut" on his arm. She said this was reasonable suspicion he committed the crime, and he then changed from a "person of interest" to a suspect. Reeves and other detectives detained Huguely once they arrived at the police station, and read him his Miranda rights. Reeves also testified that Whiteley told her about the email with the "I should have killed you" reference. She said Huguely signed a waiver at 7:53 a.m. May 3, stating he understood his rights and was wiling to talk to police about the case.
Huguely Interrogation Tape:
At this point, the prosecution played a video tape of Huguely's interrogation with police the morning of May 3, 2010. The tape was approximately about an hour and a half long.
Following are statements Huguely said during the interview:
- Confirmed he was a fourth year student and lacrosse player at UVA.
- Recalled the events on the Sunday leading up to Love's death. He said he went to the father-son golf tournament and "drank some beers" before having dinner around 7:30 p.m.
- "Went over to talk to Yeardley" after dinner, who he identified as his former girlfriend.
- Told police he "just wanted to talk to her", but that Love "totally freaked" when he came over and told him, "you can't come in" and was on a "defensive edge." He said "she was on defensive because she knew how upset" he was over events from the week before.
- Said Love sat up on the bed against the wall and "started getting aggressive" with him. Huguely then told Love to "chill out" and shook her a little. He says she freaked out.
- Recalled Love kept saying "stop", and Huguely kept reiterating "Yeardley, I just want to talk about everything that has happened in the past week."
- Told police their conversation "wasn't a good one" and that "she kept hitting her head against the wall." Said she was like "a fish out of water." He held her by her arms and shoulders and shook her.
- Reiterated, "I never struck her or hit her, I just wanted to talk."
- Said Love moved to the floor at one point, where he held her. He depicted their interaction as "wrestling." He says he held her, but not forcefully. She kept telling him to leave. He later admitted to "throwing" her back on the bed before he left the apartment.
- Told Love he wanted to talk about the week before when Love came into his apartment uninvited, and saw two girls that were visiting UVA. Claimed "she walked in and started punching me in the face and hitting me with her purse" when recalling the incident.
- Said he also wanted to talk to her about how he received texts from Love the week before, detailing how she "hooked up" with someone while visiting UNC.
- Said he expressed to her "I'm not here to fight with you, I'm here to talk."
- Told police, "I never touched her, struck her or hit her in the face" to questions about Love's injuries.
- Expressed to police that he was "more emotional than angry" when at Love's apartment. Claimed she was trying to make it seem like everything she did wasn't as important.
- Changed his story throughout the tape about whether the door to Love's bedroom was locked. At first he said it was not, but later acknowledged that it had been locked. Detective Reeves then asked about how he entered Love's room again. At first, he said he punched his hand through the door, then later said he kicked his foot through it.
- Answered questions about injuries on his hands and arms, and said they were all from lacrosse.
- Said he went straight home after fight with Love, and didn't see or talk to anyone.
- Recounted his alcohol consumption throughout the day Sunday leading up to Love's death, estimating he had as many as 20 alcoholic drinks that day.
- Told police Love never said he "choked her," just that he laid on her and held her when detectives asked about abuse.
- Changed his story about taking Love's computer. At first, he said he didn't have it, but then Huguely admitted taking her computer as "collateral" and throwing it in a dumpster.
- Said "I didn't think that she was in need of going to emergency room," when asked why he didn't call rescue after Love's head hit the wall.
While the video was playing, Huguely kept looking forward and watching the monitor playing the tape. Love's mother and sister stared at Huguely through the beginning of the tape, shaking their heads in disbelief. Up to this point of the interview, Huguely was not aware that Love had died. The impression from the tape appears that Huguely believed he was being interrogated for an assault investigation. Detective Reeves then tells Huguely on tape, "She (Love) is dead. You killed her." This is how he responds:
- "She is dead? No, I didn't."
- Keeps repeating "she is dead?" in shock and disbelief.
- "I don't, I don't believe that. I didn't hurt her."
- "I never did anything that could do that to her."
- Starting to cry on tape, asked police to tell him Love is not dead. "I would never do that her, I swear to God."
- Repeats over and over, "There is no way she is dead."
- Crying hysterically, said "I didn't hurt her. I know she's not dead. There is no way. I did not kill her. There is no way. No. No. No."
At this point in the courtroom, Huguely put his hands in his face. Huguely, his family, Love's family and friends, two jurors and others in the courtroom sobbed during this portion of the tape where Huguely learns Love is dead. Many of them, including Huguely, wiped tears from their faces.
Following the end of the tape, Detective Reeves went back on the stand to verify the tape that was played. Court then took a recess for lunch.
Charlottesville Police Detective Michael Flaherty:
After lunch, Charlottesville Police Detective Flaherty took the stand. Flaherty was the forensic detective who responded to the scene on May 3, 2010. The detective said he responded to Love's apartment and arrived at 3:06 a.m..
Upon arrival, Flaherty testified that medics were no longer in the room, but the medical equipment was there. He said he took a protective sweep around the apartment, bagged anything he thought was immediately important and requested a search warrant. That warrant came and was executed at 6:47 a.m.. Flaherty said they stopped processing the crime scene at 1:33 p.m..
Flaherty was asked to describe the scene and confirm what he saw with pictures taken on May 3, 2010. He testified that everything in the living room and kitchen was "orderly" and there were no signs of a struggle. The detective went on to describe the door leading into Love's room with a hole and wood pieces scattered on the floor. The door was later brought into the courtroom and entered as evidence. He stated they found hair inside the jagged edges of the hole. The door presented in court was white, hollow, and made of some sort of composite material with cardboard inside. The hole is a little smaller than a basketball, just above and a few inches away from the knob.
From the testimony given, Flaherty explained there were limited signs of struggle in the room. There was no evidence of impacts on the windows, desk, chair, or bedside table. There was a blood stain on the carpet noted by Flaherty, as well as blood stains on the pillows of her bed, sheets, and comforter, all of which were shown to the jury and entered as evidence.
The prosecution also asked Flaherty questions concerning pictures taken of Love's body. He described red marks on her neck, contusions, bruising and swelling of her face - in particular her swollen right eye. He said Love also had bruising and contusions to her hands, wrists and lower arms. In addition there were scrapes on her legs that had scabbed over.
Flaherty explained that after examining the bed, investigators saw a gray smudge on the wall. The forensics team took swabs of the mark. That portion of the wall was cut out and also brought to court and submitted into evidence. Other pieces of evidence presented were Love's backpack, laptop case - which was found near her head and was stained with blood, the bed skirt also was stained with blood, and a Natural Light beer can found in her trash.
The forensics team took pictures of the bathroom, including the toilet seat being up. Towels from the bathroom were entered as evidence - the detective said they had red stains; however they were a different color than the blood stains in the bedroom. Flaherty testified the shower and sink were "bone dry." The defense cross-examined him about the time it could take for a shower to dry up. He answered stating that he was not an expert on such things. Love's roommate, Caity Whiteley, had previously testified that Love had taken a shower earlier in the night.
Follow @NBC29Huguely for continuous updates from the courtroom throughout the day.