George Huguely appeal heard Tuesday
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A state appeals court heard arguments Tuesday from an attorney for a former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted of second-degree murder in the May 2010 slaying of his former girlfriend.
George W. Huguely V is seeking a new trial on charges he beat Yeardley Love in the bedroom of her Charlottesville apartment and left her to die. The Chevy Chase, Md., man is asking the Virginia Court of Appeals to overturn his February 2012 conviction.
Huguely is serving a 23-year sentence in Keen Mountain Correctional Center in southwest Virginia.
The appeals court had already agreed to hear arguments on two trial errors claimed by Huguely's attorneys, but it was asked Tuesday to broaden the basis of the appeal to include other issues raised after his conviction.
The three-judge panel that heard the 10-minute presentation did not immediately rule.
The court had previously agreed to consider whether Huguely was denied the right to counsel when one of his attorneys fell ill during the trial. The case moved forward in her absence while she recovered. It also was considering if a prospective juror should have been struck from hearing the case after she voiced doubts about her impartiality.
Paul Clement, one of three attorneys representing Huguely in the appeal, asked the judges to consider whether other jurors were also seated improperly after they voiced similar opinions, including one who said the slaying had put the university in a bad light and that men athletes tended to be violent.
Clement also said the state failed to disclose that Love's family was planning on filing a $30 million civil suit against Huguely and that it would be based on a theory that Love died as a result of negligence and an accident.
Clement argued that the information would have been favorable for the defense at trial or Huguely's sentencing.
Clement also asked the court to consider whether the trial judge improperly instructed jurors on the second-degree murder charge.
Clement, who was repeatedly questioned by Judge William G. Petty, argued the appeal before a small, crowded courtroom that included members of the Love and Huguely families.
Love, who was 22 and from suburban Baltimore, and Huguely had a turbulent relationship that included infidelities and arguments that turned physical, according to testimony at Huguely's trial in Charlottesville. Love was found dead in her apartment early on the morning of May 3, 2010, after Huguely kicked in the door to her bedroom and beat her.
The killing occurred after a day of drinking by Huguely.