George Huguely Interrogation Tape Released
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - For the first time ever, we are hearing from convicted murderer George Huguely, the man responsible for a crime that rocked the Charlottesville community five years ago.
In 2010, University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love was found dead in her apartment on 14th Street in Charlottesville. Within hours of the discovery, Love's former boyfriend, UVA lacrosse player George Huguely, was arrested and charged with her murder. In 2012 he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Much of the case against Huguely relied on a 63-minute police interrogation tape. Now, with his appeals process over, NBC29 has exclusively obtained a copy of the tape.
The tape moved a jury to find George Huguely guilty of second-degree murder. Until now, we could only describe the confession tape for you but now we can hear the words straight from Huguely himself:
Det. Best: "She's dead. You killed her George. You killed her."
Huguely: "She's dead?"
Det. Best: "I think you knew that already."
It's 7:52 a.m., May 3, 2010, the moment life was about to change for University of Virginia star lacrosse player George Wesley Huguely, the all-American boy from Washington D.C., who was about to go from the top of his game to convicted murderer.
Detectivve Lisa Best of the Charlottesville Police Department sat face-to-face with Huguely in an intense interrogation, hours after he broke into Love's 14th Street apartment, repeatedly shook her head against a wall, and left her face down in a pool of blood.
Huguely: “Actually it was locked, yeah, because I think I put a hole.”
Det. Best: “Yeah, you punched a hole through the door.”
Huguely: “Pretty sure actually now.”
Det. Best: “Why did you do that?”
Huguely: “Because I wanted to talk to her.”
Det. Best said she believed Huguely went to Love’s apartment to talk about their relationship.
"I do believe his intention was to go over then and talk to her at first,” she said. “I think that with the alcohol and his temper, once he got in there, I think once she told him she didn’t want to talk with him, I think that’s when it escalated, at that moment."
Hours earlier, Huguely hit the golf links with his dad at Wintergreen. A full day of drinking gave way to dinner at The C&O Restaurant , and even more alcohol.
Det. Best: “OK, what happened next?”
Huguely: “What happened next - and she was - just kept hitting her head against the wall while she was sitting on the bed. And I was – like - I grabbed her and shook her and was like, “stop – like -we need” and I looked at her – like - "we need to talk about this." I was like holding her arms and stuff."
Det. Best: “Did you choke her at one point?”
Huguely: “Um, I may have grabbed her a little bit by the neck but I never like strangled her.”
City prosecutor Dave Chapman secured the second-degree murder conviction against Huguely in 2012. During the trial, he played 63-minutes of the interrogation tape to the jury.
"In my view the statement was of central importance.” Chapman stated. "On the one hand, was it premeditated? On the other hand, could you see in the interview that the suspect was surprised?”
NBC29 legal analyst Lloyd Snook says the confession wasn’t Huguely’s only issue at his trial. “There’s some things about it that the defense would like, there’s some things about it that the defense wouldn’t like,” he said. “He could perfectly well have defended the case if the facts, if the pictures weren’t awful, if the medical injuries weren’t awful.”
Ian Glomski was on the jury that convicted Huguely. He says he hasn't wavered on what he said post trial.
"When things start off he's basically a bad boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar…and then when they tell him Yeardley's dead, there is a very big change in his demeanor," he stated.
Huguely: “I want to see her!”
Det. Best: “George, look at me. She. Is. Dead.”
"He would have had to have been a fantastic actor to pull off the emotional response he did…" Glomski said.
Huguely: "How is she dead?
"...I found it very believable…" Glomski stated.
Huguely: “No. No. I. She's not dead. She’s not dead."
"...There’s something about seeing a live person crying…" Glomski said.
Huguely: “I told you it didn't get out of control. She’s not dead. She’s not dead. She’s not dead. No way. There’s no way. I didn't do it. There’s no way. There’s no way.”
"...That convinced me he really had no idea. First off that she was dead and therefore means he didn't go over there with intent to kill her." Glomski stated.
“It was very sad.” Det. Best stated. “You know, Yeardley’s life had been taken away from her and George making a very stupid decision.”
Fast forward to just two weeks after this interrogation, Huguely would have graduated from UVA and began his career in real estate at a firm in Washington, D.C. It was a promising dream turned nightmare in the blink of an eye.
Huguely’s final U.S. Supreme Court appeal was denied last month. He is serving a 23-year prison sentence at the Augusta Correctional Center. Huguely declined an interview request for this story. He’s 28 years old, and is set to be released in 2029.
We did reach out to the Love family to let them know we got a copy of the tape and that a story was coming together. They understood the purpose, and the family respectfully declined to comment.