Huguely Granted Hearing on Appeal of Murder Conviction
George Huguely may be on his way to a new trial. A judge has granted him the chance to make his case before the Virginia Court of Appeals.
Huguely, a former University of Virginia lacrosse player, was convicted of second-degree murder in May 2012 for the beating death of his ex-girlfriend, UVA lacrosse player Yeardley Love.
This is not a new trial for George Huguely at this point. This hearing will allow George Huguely's attorneys to tell the appeals court why his conviction should be thrown out.
Of the five arguments in the original appeal, a judge says two of them have merit.
First, the appeals court says Huguely was denied his right to counsel. Attorney Rhonda Quagliana became sick nine days into the trial. She was out for two days, although the judge chose to proceed without her on day two.
Second, the appeals court said the circuit court was in the wrong for refusing to strike one juror due to her impartiality.
The appeals court did say that there was enough evidence to convict Huguely of second-degree murder. His attorneys argued manslaughter at most.
The Virginia Attorney General's Office is now handling the case. Either side has 14 days to challenge the findings.
Our legal expert says arguments on this could be heard in late spring or early summer. If the appeal court finds there was an error, then the case will go back to Charlottesville Circuit Court for a retrial.
Friday afternoon Huguely's attorney, Paul D. Clement provided the following statement:
"We are delighted that the Court of Appeals granted our petition for appeal. Although we may ask the Court to broaden the appeal, the Court of Appeals' action underscores that there are serious issues about whether George received a fair trial that complied with his constitutional rights. We look forward to proceeding with the appeal on the merits, and we remain hopeful that the Court of Appeals will order a new trial."
The Love family provided no comment.