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At trial, police testify to finding beaten lacrosse player

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Police officers who responded to what they thought was an alcohol overdose of a University of Virginia lacrosse player found her bruised and bloodied body, and quickly realized her apartment was a crime scene, according to testimony Thursday.

The officers testified in the murder trial of George Huguely V, who played on the men’s lacrosse team. He is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, by slamming her head against a wall. Huguely’s defense maintains Love died in part by taking the prescription drug Adderall and drinking alcohol.

On May 3, 2010, police got a call from Love’s roommate, Caitlin Whitely, and a friend. They had found Love’s body in her bedroom and told police they believed she was suffering from an alcohol overdose.

Patrolman K.W. Chapman said he arrived at the apartment and found a hole in her bedroom door and her body lying on the floor next to her bed. She was wearing only underwear.

He kneeled down to check whether she was breathing and detected nothing. He then unsuccessfully tried CPR. He said Love’s face was bloodied, bruised and had scrapes.

“When I saw that, I knew that that this was nowhere near the report that I was given,” Chapman said.

Charlottesville Police Sgt. S.R. Bayles said after he viewed Love’s lifeless body, he concluded she had been the “victim of some act of violence” and began recording the apartment with a digital camera.

Love had a black eye and the side of her face had bruises, Bayles said.

When photos of the scene were shown to jurors, Huguely cast his eyes downward and fidgeted with his hands.

EMT crews that followed Chapman and his partner to Love’s apartment testified about the frantic efforts to revive her.

Huguely’s attorneys have said he was drunk the night Love died and incapable of plotting to kill her. They maintain Love, of Cockeysville, Md., died from a cardiopulmonary failure caused in part by Adderall and alcohol.

They also said the blood found at the base of Love’s brain wasn’t caused by Huguely but by forceful attempts to resuscitate her.

During opening statements Wednesday, prosecutor Dave Chapman described the couple’s relationship as volatile, each accusing the other of infidelities. Chapman presented an angry email Huguely sent before Love’s death with the message, “I should have killed you.”