BC-VA--Virginia Lacrosse Slaying,1st Ld-Writethru
Prosecutors rebuff ex-U.Va. lax player's appeal
Eds: Updates with detail, background.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors say a former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted of beating his ex-girlfriend to death shouldn't get a new trial.
Lawyers for George W. Huguely V in January had filed a petition with the Virginia Court of Appeals, arguing the evidence in the case didn't support a second-degree murder conviction and citing a series of what they said were constitutional and procedural errors.
But in a response filed Friday, prosecutors rebuffed claims that Huguely was denied the right to his chosen lawyer, the right to a fair and impartial jury, and other violations.
Huguely was convicted conviction in the May 2010 slaying of 22-year-old women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love. The suburban Baltimore woman was found dead in her Charlottesville bedroom where Huguely confronted her after a day of heavy drinking. Last February, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
In the appeals petition, Huguely's attorneys argued that the circuit court judge should have temporarily suspended the trial when one of Huguely's lawyers became ill midway through.
Prosecutors, however, said another of Huguely's lawyers was competent to move forward, WVIR-TV reports (http://bit.ly/14XfRAP). They also said that the evidence of malice was sufficient to convict Huguely of second-degree murder and cited Huguely's written death threat two days prior to killing Love as an example.
Additionally, prosecutors said they did not need to disclose that Love's family planned a $30 million civil suit against Huguely.
Love's mother, Sharon Love, has filed two lawsuits seeking nearly $60 million. One is aimed at Huguely while the other claims U.Va. and athletic department officials and coaches ignored Huguely's drinking and violent behavior.
Huguely was arrested in Lexington in 2008 after a drunken confrontation with a police officer.
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.