UPDATE at 6:30 p.m.: The jurors have reached a verdict in the George Huguely murder trial. Stay tuned for more. The verdict will be announced soon.
For the students at the University of Virginia, a verdict in the trial of George Huguely would be the welcomed end to a nightmare that began in May 2010, when Yeardley Love was found dead in her off- campus apartment.
Whether he's acquitted or found guilty in connection with her death, many believe Huguely brought the university into a spotlight of tragic controversy.
“I have some people say it's such a shame, the poor guy his life is ruined, and other people come in and say, he's a monster,” says UVA student Kate Tooley.
Prosecutors say it all shows that Huguely had threatened to kill love in the past, had in fact, tried to choke her before friends interrupted it.
In ten minutes the night of May 2nd 2010 he busted into her apartment, attacked Love and left her for dead on her bed, then stole her laptop computer, authorities say.
Huguely’s defense team counters, saying the couple had a long running contentious relationship and that he wanted to make up with her that night when Love provoked a struggle.
Her death was unintentional, the defense said, an accident with a tragic outcome.
he jury watched huguely in his a video of his police interrogation, the only time they've heard him tell his side of the story.
Yeardley Love, 22, of Baltimore, Md., was Huguely's on and off girlfriend.
The jury, at the start of their deliberations on Wednesday, asked the judge for the definition of the word reason, ABC7's Brianne Carter reported. The judge responded that it has no other meaning beyond how its used in everyday life.
The former UVA lacrosse player has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, including murder, burglary, robbery and grand larceny.
Huguely acknowledges he kicked a hole in the door to Love's bedroom but insists he only wanted to talk. Medical experts testified to several possible causes for Love's death from blunt trauma injuries.
The jury was ordered to review the 36 points of instruction from the judge before they began deliberation. The jurors have also been asked by both the defense and prosecution to carefully look at the video interview Charlottesville Police did with Huguely early the morning of May 3, 2010--an hour after Yeardley Love was found dead. On the video, Huguely tells police before they tell him of Love's death or of her multiple injuries, how he "may have grabbed her by the neck, a little bit.”
He also is heard telling police that Love began banging the back of her head against her bedroom wall.
"I told her stop it!” Huguely said on the video.
Prosecutors say Huguely knew what kind of injuries Love had and this was his way of explaining them before he could be asked about them. Later in the video when a detective told Huguely, "she's dead, George. You killed her,” Huguely was silent for some ten seconds.
He began to repeat, "she's not dead, she's not dead,” then broke into sobs. At one point in the video, Huguely said, "I never did anything that could have done that.”
Huguely faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious murder charge. If a guilty verdict is reached, the judge says that the penalty phase of the trial will begin 90 minutes after the verdict.