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Ex-U.Va. lacrosse player murder conviction upheld

RICHMOND, Va. — An appeals court on Tuesday affirmed the second-degree murder conviction of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player who fatally beat his ex-girlfriend.

On appeal, attorneys for George W. Huguely V raised several issues related to his February 2012 Charlottesville trial and conviction for the May 2010 slaying of Yeardley Love, who was 22 and a member of the women’s lacrosse team at U.Va.

The Court of Appeals of Virginia found no errors and upheld Huguely’s conviction. Huguely is serving a 23-year prison term in Virginia on the second-degree murder charge and for a grand larceny conviction, which he did not appeal.

A key claim of Huguely’s attorneys was that he was denied counsel when one of his attorneys fell ill during the trial and the judge agreed to proceed. They also raised questions about jurors who expressed opinions about elements of the case before they were seated.

Love was found dead in her Charlottesville apartment after Huguely kicked a hole in her bedroom door and beat her after a day of heavy drinking, according to trial testimony.

Huguely, who is from Chevy Chase, Md., and Love had had a volatile, off-and-on relationship that included infidelities, bouts of heavy drinking by Huguely and physical attacks involving both of them. Love was from suburban Baltimore.

Love’s death has had a lasting impact in Virginia and at the university. It’s easier now for abuse victims in Virginia to get a restraining order and students must tell the university if they have ever been arrested.

School officials and students also have tried to make the culture on campus one in which people look out for each other and aren’t afraid to report relationship violence.

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