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Virginia lax player charged in murder

5/5/2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- A senior on the Virginia men's
lacrosse team was charged Monday with the slaying of a fellow
student on the women's team, stunning students at the picturesque
campus.

George Huguely, 22, of Chevy Chase, Md., was charged with
first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Yeardley Love, also
a senior, of Cockeysville, Md., Charlottesville Police Chief
Timothy Longo said.


Longo said Love's roommate called police around 2:15 a.m.
concerned that Love may have had an alcohol overdose, but police
found her dead with obvious physical injuries.

"It was quickly apparent to them that this young lady was the
victim of something far worse," Longo said.

The police chief said that Huguely and Love were in relationship
at some point and that Huguely quickly became the focus. Longo
would not detail the extent of Love's injuries, but said there did
not appear to be any weapons used in the slaying.

A steady stream of students preparing for finals later in the
week wandered down the street that runs by the house where Love's
body was found. Drivers slowed down and pointed as they approached
the building.

"Everybody's kind of taking a wait-and-see approach," said
Drew Cook, a 22-year-old senior from Burke.

Cook said all he knew was what was included in an e-mail sent to
the university community. He said suggestions from police that it
could be a domestic incident and there were no other suspects
didn't ease tensions.

"Just to hear that anybody in the UVa community could be
suspected of that, regardless of the relationship, does give you a
sense of unease," Cook said.

Kyle Cecil, 22, of Newport News, said he was shocked to see
police cars at the building Monday morning. He said Love's death
was the talk of campus. He lived on the same hall as Huguely as a
freshman and knew him well enough to say hello.

"It's sad that two people with a lot of potential, one their
life is over and the other's life is significantly altered," Cecil
said.

Huguely was being held in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional
Jail.

Huguely and Love were scheduled to graduate later this month.
Leonard Sandridge, executive vice president of the university, said
the campus was saddened over Love's death.

He added the shock is magnified by the fact that the accused is
"one of our own," he told reporters.

Both highly ranked teams are preparing for the national
tournament later this month. Virginia's men's team was ranked No. 1
for most of the season and expects to host a first-round game in
the tournament after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference
championship last month. The women's team also was expected to get
into the tournament.

Huguely, a midfielder, wasn't a starter but played in all 15
games this season. He had four goals and three assists. Love played
defense and started in three games this season.

According to ESPN's Quint Kessenich, the men's and women's programs met Monday, and the athletes discussed the possibility of not playing in the upcoming NCAA tournaments -- but no final decision has been reached yet.

When asked how the death would affect the upcoming tournament,
athletic director Craig Littlepage said it was "not even entering
into our thoughts" but that for the players' sake they wanted to
"try to get back to some things that are normal."

Love was "a person who was described as an angel by teammates
and friends," Littlepage said.

Love played varsity lacrosse and field hockey for four years at
Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore.

"Yeardley was an outstanding young lady -- joyous, spirited a
wonderful person," said Sister Patricia McCarron, headmistress of
the school. "I know we all enjoyed watching her on the lacrosse
field and seeing her walk the hallways at NDP. We are proud to call
Yeardley 'one of our girls.'"

Mary Bartel, who coached Yeardley in lacrosse at Notre Dame
Prep, said, "Yeardley was the core of the personality of the team.
She was our laughter, a good soul. She always found an appropriate
way to lighten things up.

"I don't think there is a soul in this building who couldn't
say her name without smiling. Yeardley loved NDP, and NDP loved
her. She was a good soul and an outstanding athlete."

University president John Casteen said in a release on the
university's website that Love's death "moves us to deep anguish
for the loss of a student of uncommon talent and promise."

"That she appears now to have been murdered by another student
compounds this sense of loss by suggesting that Yeardley died
without comfort or consolation from those closest to her," Casteen
said.

Casteen said Love did not deserve to die.

"She deserved the bright future she earned growing up, studying
here, and developing her talents as a lacrosse player," he said.
"She deserves to be remembered for her human goodness, her
capacity for future greatness, and for the terrible way in which
her young life has ended."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.