Huguely Takes Appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
After appeal denials in Virginia, George Huguely's defense team hopes the justices in Washington will overturn his conviction for killing UVA student Yeardley Love in 2010.
George Huguely will take his case to the United States Supreme Court. After appeal denials in Virginia, Huguely's defense team hopes the justices in Washington will overturn his conviction for killing his former girlfriend, University of Virginia student Yeardley Love, in 2010.
This is Huguely's final chance to get his second-degree murder conviction overturned. He is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence.
George Huguely's defense team asked the U.S. Supreme Court justices for a one-month extension to file what's called a writ of certiorari - his appeal request. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has signed off on it.
Huguely's defense team plans to argue that his Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated during his original trial in Charlottesville. Nine days into the trial, one of Huguely's two attorneys became ill. Huguely protested at the time that the trial should not go forward.
"There's a U.S. Supreme Court case from 2006 that seems to say very clearly judges shouldn't do things that get in the way of a defendant's right to choose his own lawyer. On the other hand you have the fact that the judge has a right to control the way a case moves forward. So what they're trying to setup here is that you have a conflict between these two doctrines," said NBC29 legal analyst Lloyd Snook.
The request for an extension comes from Huguely's attorney, Paul Clement, who says he has too many cases this month.The writ is now due May 15. Legal analyst Lloyd Snook says it's not uncommon to get a onetime extension and adds that the earliest we could hear from the courts on the issue would be at the end of June.
To put this in perspective, the Supreme Court says it receives about 10,000 petitions each year. The court grants and hears oral arguments in about 75 to 80 cases.