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Huguely wants conviction set aside

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend is appealing his conviction.

Attorneys for George W. Huguely V filed a motion Friday in Charlottesville Circuit Court asking that his second-degree murder conviction be set aside for the May 2010 beating death of Yeardley Love, 22, of suburban Baltimore. They cited a series of errors before and during the trial.

Jurors also convicted Hugely, of Chevy Chase, Md., in February larceny. Love, who also played lacrosse at U.Va., was found dead in her apartment after Huguely kicked a hole in her bedroom door.

Prosecutors argued at trial that the encounter quickly turned violent and Huguely banged Love’s head against the wall. Huguely said in a police interrogation video she initiated the physical encounter. He said he shook Love but didn’t cause her fatal injuries.

In their motion for a new trial, Huguely’s attorneys argued Judge Edward Hogshire should have temporarily suspended the trial when one of Huguely’s lawyers became ill midway through and that Hogshire was focused on wrapping up the case within its scheduled two weeks.

The attorneys also argue that Hogshire refused to sequester jurors despite intense pre-trial news accounts, delivered improper jury instructions and that the evidence did not support the second-degree murder conviction.

“It was clear from the evidence that Mr. Huguely should have been convicted of no more serious offense than manslaughter,” the motion states.

The attorneys are also seeking to have the grand larceny conviction tossed.

Huguely is scheduled to be sentenced in August. He faces a maximum of 26 years in prison.

Since Huguely’s conviction, Love’s mother has filed two wrongful death lawsuits totaling more than $60 million.

Sharon Love is seeking $30.5 million in a claim against Huguely, and $29.45 million against the U.Va. men’s lacrosse team coaches, the university’s athletic department and the state. In the latter suit she argues they ignored Huguely’s erratic behavior, including alleged violent acts and two alcohol-related arrests.