Prosecutors Respond to Huguely's Motion for New Trial
The commonwealth's attorney said the verdict of second-degree murder was appropriate.
Yeardley Love's death was no accident, a Virginia prosecutor wrote in response to a motion for a new trial for the man convicted in her death.
George Huguely, 24, was convicted in February of second-degree murder and grand larceny in connection with the May 2010 beating death of Cockeysville native Love in her Charlottesville, VA apartment.
"She died as a result of the defendant's intentional and volitional actions towards her that were undertaken with malice as defined by the Court's instructions," Commonwealth's Attorney Warner D. Chapman wrote in the response filed Friday in Charlottesville Circuit Court. "But for the defendant's actions Yeardley Love would have awakened May 3, 2010 and gone on with her life. It wasn't an accident. It was a second-degree murder."
In the 17-page motion filed last month, Huguely's attorneys asked for a new trial, claiming there was insufficient evidence to support a second-degree murder conviction and that significant medical testimony was disallowed in court.
"It was clear from the evidence that Mr. Huguely should have been convicted of no more serious offense than manslaughter," defense attorneys wrote.
Other defense objections include jury selection, jury instructions and the speed at which circuit Judge Edward Hogshire conducted proceedings. Hogshire continued trial proceedings while defense attorney Rhonda Quagliana was out sick, but as prosecutors point out, she remained in touch with colleague Francis McQ. Lawrence while she was recovering.
The testimony of one expert medical witness was severely restricted after Quagliana admitted to accidentally violating rules on witness communication.
In a supplemental motion filed this week, Huguely's attorneys also pointed to a civil suit Love's mother, Sharon, filed against him in April, claiming his negligence led to "an accident for which he was responsible."
His defense attorneys allege that prosecutors knew about the impending suit and language describing Love's death as an accident.
"The information about the status of the civil claims was material to impeach the two prosecution witnesses, Sharon and [daughter] Lexie Love, especially in the penalty phase of the trial," they write.
Hogshire is scheduled to hold hearing on the defense motions on June 29. Sentencing is currently set for Aug. 30. The Charlottesville jury that convicted Huguely recommended that he spend 26 years behind bars.
Read the motions, which are attached to this story.