Lawyers in Court for Huguely Trial Motions Hearing
Attorneys involved in the first degree murder case against George Huguely were in court Thursday afternoon, battling it out over motions that have been filed.
Huguely's lawyers had petitioned the court to allow his family members, who might want to testify on his behalf at sentencing, be allowed to sit in on the trial and record statements for any penalty phase if the former men's lacrosse player at the University of Virginia is convicted for his former girlfriend's death.
Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman called the defense request preposterous.
Virginia code allows family members to be present for both parts of the case, the guilt phase and sentencing, but not to attend the former and testify at the latter.
Defense attorney Fran Lawrence had hoped to split that difference, in what Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Edward Hogshire acknowledged was a creative argument, by proposing Huguely family members record their statements for the jury to consider during sentencing before the trial itself began.
Chapman objected saying the one-sided recordings would be hearsay evidence and he'd have no way to cross examine a family member who was speaking as a character witness on George Huguely's behalf.
Late Thursday afternoon Hogshire refused the defense request, saying Huguely's mom, dad, sister or anyone else would have to choose to be at the trial or testify at sentencing, but not both, and if they spoke at sentencing, to do so in-person.
Hogshire told the court that the rules of evidence would never be so relaxed as to allow for what the defense was requesting.
George Huguely is charged with killing University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love in May 2010.