A University of Virginia lacrosse player was charged yesterday with first-degree murder in the death of a former girlfriend who was a member of the women’s lacrosse squad at the school.
George Huguely, 22, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was charged with killing Yeardley Love, 22, of Cockeysville, Maryland, police said in a press release. Witnesses told police the two had previously had a relationship.
Charlottesville Police went to an off-campus apartment at 2:15 a.m. yesterday to investigate a possible alcohol overdose. They found Love’s body with signs physical trauma, police said in a press release.
Huguely, a 6-foot-2, 209-pound senior reserve midfielder for the Cavaliers’ top-ranked men’s team, is being held in the Albermarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.
Huguely will have a bond hearing today in the General District Court, police spokesman Gary Pleasants said. The hearing can be done via teleconference without moving Huguely from the jail, Pleasants said in a telephone interview.
The spokesman wouldn’t say how authorities connected Huguely to the murder. He said police are awaiting Love’s autopsy to determine the cause of death and will continue to gather evidence.
Virginia, which has a 14-1 record and No. 1 ranking, is preparing for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament as Atlantic Coast Conference champion. The Cavaliers would likely host a first-round NCAA game on May 16.
The men’s championship concludes May 31 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
The women’s team, ranked fifth with a 13-5 mark, also may participate in the NCAA lacrosse tournament, scheduled to conclude May 28 and 30 at Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson University in Towson, Maryland.
Players from both of Virginia’s lacrosse teams met yesterday and discussed the possibility of not playing in their NCAA tournaments, though no discussion has been reached, ESPN said.
Love, a senior, played defense and started three games for the women’s team.
Huguely appeared in all 15 games as a reserve, scoring four goals and three assists. He had a goal and an assist in Virginia’s lone loss this season, a 13-9 home setback against ACC rival Duke University on April 17.
In March 2006, lacrosse players at Durham, North Carolina-based Duke were accused of locking a stripper in a bathroom, shouting racial epithets and then raping her. The charges were later dropped.
Of the 46 players on the Duke roster that year, nine were from the Washington area and five went to Landon School, a private institution in Bethesda, Maryland, where Huguely was then a senior. He was quoted in the Washington Post at the time that he was surprised at how fast the players had been judged.
“I sympathize for the team,” Huguely told the Post. “They’ve been scrutinized so hard and no one knows what has happened yet. In this country, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. I think that’s the way it should be.”
Huguely’s father spoke to the Post for the same article.
“Regardless of what winds up happening, you have to learn from this experience and take what you can from it,” George Huguely Sr. told the newspaper. “You always have to remember and can’t let yourself be in a situation where something like this could happen.”
Two telephone numbers in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area are registered to George Huguely, one of them unlisted. A person who answered the phone at the second number said he was “the wrong George” and hung up.