(Updates with jury request in third paragraph.)
Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- A jury in Virginia began deliberating whether former University of Virginia lacrosse player George W. Huguely V is guilty of murder in the death of Yeardley Love, his ex-girlfriend.
After a 10-day trial, the jury of seven men and five women today in state court in Charlottesville were given the case and within minutes requested the video of Huguely’s interview with police and other exhibits.
This afternoon, the jury asked to see a handwritten letter Huguely wrote Love in February 2010 apologizing for putting her in a choke hold.
In the letter, found by police with her belongings after Love’s death, Huguely wrote: “Alcohol is ruining my life. I’m scared to know that I can get drunk to the point where I can’t control how I act.”
During closing arguments, Huguely’s lawyer, Francis Lawrence, read the letter to jurors while asking them to return a verdict of manslaughter rather than murder.
Throughout the day, jurors asked two questions pertaining to the instructions they were given by the judge to decide the case. One involved whether there was a contradiction between instructions on determining intent and cause.
Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire ordered two alternate jurors to remain in the courthouse during the deliberations, saying “there’s still a possibility you may be called.”
Huguely, 24, is charged with first-degree murder, robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, grand larceny and murder in the commission of a robbery. Love’s badly bruised body was discovered by a friend and teammate who went to the 22-year-old victim’s room in her apartment at about 2 a.m. on May 3, 2010, finding her face down in a pool of blood on her pillow.
Huguely faces a possible life sentence if convicted.
The case is Commonwealth of Virginia v. Huguely, 11-00102, Virginia Circuit Court (Charlottesville).
--Editors: Andrew Dunn, Mary Romano
To contact the reporters on this story: Bonnie V. Winston in Virginia Circuit Court in Charlottesville at firstname.lastname@example.org; Tom Schoenberg in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at firstname.lastname@example.org