Three search warrants acquired from the Charlottesville Circuit Court illustrate a dreadful crime scene at the apartment where University of Virginia student Yeardley Love was discovered dead Monday morning.
According to a search warrant affidavit, Love, 22, “was unresponsive and did not respond to rescue attempts. The victim’s pillow was covered in blood and she had a large bruise on the side of her face which appeared to be caused by blunt force trauma. Her right eye was swollen shut and she had bruises and cuts on her chin. The door to her bedroom had been forced open by what appeared to be a fist punching through the door.”
Another affidavit affirms that when questioned about the unpleasant incident on May 3, 2010, suspect George Huguely “waived his rights and admitted that he and Love were involved in an argument and during the course of the argument Huguely shook Love and her head repeatedly hit the wall. He admitted to kicking Love’s bedroom door down and had injuries on his right leg consistent with kicking an object,”
The affidavits also claim that Huguely, who’s also 22, recognized that he and Yeardley Love had been in a relationship that ended. Police further state that Huguely told them he and Love had communicated via e-mail and that he took her computer from her room after their altercation, and further told them where they could find the computer, which was recovered. Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said investigators are looking into whether Huguely had threatened Love in the past.
“That’s what we’re trying to get to precisely, through our interviews with friends, family and teammates – to see to what extent there’s truth to that,” Longo said.
Longo said there were no past police reports of issues between the two.
The 22-year-old suspect, of Chevy Chase, Md., has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Love, also 22. Both were expected to graduate this month.
Huguely was not present at a court hearing Tuesday, but appeared via videoconference from Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, wearing a gray-striped uniform.
His lawyer, Francis Lawrence, said later that Love’s death was “an accident with a tragic outcome.”
Lawrence said Huguely also planned to withdraw from the university.
Police in Lexington, Va., about 70 miles from Charlottesville, said that in November 2008, Huguely was shocked with a stun gun by an officer there after resisting arrest for public intoxication. He pleaded guilty to two charges last year, was placed on six months of probation and given a 60-day sentence, which was suspended.
The arresting officer, R.L. Moss, said in a statement Tuesday that she felt it necessary to use the stun gun because Huguely became abusive and his size was no match for her.
She said in the statement that Huguely was “yelling obscenities and making threats.”
Police have collected DNA samples from both the victim and the assailant. Hairs were found surrounding the hole that was punched through Love’s bedroom door and will be compared to hair samples provided by Huguely. Other DNA samples will be looked at and taken into evidence.
About 3,000 people mourned Love’s loss at a candle light vigil in a filled U.Va. amphitheater Wednesday night.
Love’s funeral was set for Saturday in her home state of Maryland. Huguely remained behind bars.
Love will be awarded a degree posthumously at graduation later this month.