May 11, 2010

UVA Lacrosse Murder: Huguely's Mother Speaks

from staff reports

In the latest news surrounding the May 3 murder of Virginia women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love, allegedly at the hands of Virginia men's lacrosse player George Huguely, Huguely's mother broke the respective families' silence with a written statement Tuesday to media.

Marta Murphy, Huguely's mother, said she was "devastated and confused" by Love's death.

"It has been difficult to remain silent during this dark, tumultuous time,” she said in the statement. “As a mother, I never expected to be in a situation like this. Though my pain is great, it will never come close to the anguish felt by the Love family.”

Love, 22, was found dead in the bedroom her off-campus house near the University of Virginia. According to police affidavits and media reports, she was killed in a violent argument with her ex-boyfriend Huguely, who shook her, causing her head to repeatedly strike a wall. Signs of physical trauma included a pool of blood on her pillow and one eye swollen shut, according to the affidavits.

Both Virginia lacrosse teams have been put under a national spotlight, as they will compete this weekend in the first rounds of their respective NCAA tournaments. The Virginia men are the No. 1 seed and the Virginia women are the No. 5 seed. They will host games Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and reportedly at the urging of the Love family.

"Playing the tournament was not that important to me," Virginia men's lacrosse coach Dom Starsia, who's also mourning the death of his father, said on the ESPNU broadcast announcing the selections. "The decision about that was not going to be that big of a deal. Even at this point, the end result of the NCAA tournament, or even the first round game, is not the biggest priority in my life. "The whole thing is as hurtful as it could be. I don't think there's any question that the eyes of the nation are going to be on us. If we can put forth a good effort, and do it in an honorable way, that's all that we can do.

"Right now we're playing to honor Yeards," Virginia women's lacrosse coach Julie Myers told CBS College Sports upon the selections, "and to keep this team together through this mourning process."

Huguely, 22, will remain in police custody until his June hearing on first-degree murder charges.

Huguely's lawayer, Francis Lawrence, said he was "confident that Miss Love's death was not intended, but an accident with a tragic outcome."

Authorities are invesigating threatening e-mails and texts that Huguely allegedly sent Love after they broke up. Other incidents involving Huguely and Love have surfaced in the investigation:

* They reportedly had a violent encounter on campus that was broken up by visiting North Carolina lacrosse players.

* One former student told the New York Daily News under the condition of anonymity that the couple's breakup came after Huguely attacked Love while he was drunk and later could not recall the incident.

* A fourth-year UVA student told Sports Illustrated that Huguely had stalking tendencies, bombarding her with as many as 20 text messages after they met once.

* The Washington Post reported that last season Huguely slugged a sleeping teammate whom he believed had kissed Love.

* Huguely's own father called the police with domestic violence reports from the family's yacht off the coast of Florida in a 2008 incident. When police arrived, he reportedly dove into the Atlantic Ocean and tried to swim to shore.

* Huguely was also arrested in 2008 for public intoxication and resisting arrest at a fraternity house at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va. "He was by far the most rude, most hateful and most combative college kid I ever dealt with," arresting officer Rebecca Moss told The New York Times.

UVA officials contend they had no knowledge of Huguely's previous arrests. John Casteen, the university president who was emotional and outspoken at a vigil last week (photos) for Love, met with Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and urged him to change state law so college officials would be notified if students are arrested.

Love was buried Saturday after a funeral at Cathedral of Mary our Queen in Baltimore that drew more than 2,000 people, including many from the lacrosse community. Virginia men's lacrosse players helped carry the casket. A group of UVA men's lacrosse alumni have already raised $500,000 for the Yeardley Reynolds Love Endowed Scholarship they created to be given annually to a member of the women's lacrosse team.

Members of the Virginia men's lacrosse team help carry Virginia women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love's casket outside Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore on Saturday.

© John Strohsacker/



Latest Links:

* Virginia Lacrosse Teams Mourn, Get Ready for NCAA Playoffs (New York Daily News)
* Huguely's Mom 'Devastated and Confused' (Washington Post)
* The Tragic Story of Virginia Lacrosse Player Yeardley Love (Sports Illustrated)
* Virginia Governor, UVA President Meet; Casteen Urges Law Change (Washington Post)
* Casteen Expresses Confidence in Starsia (
* Grueling Week Lies Ahead for UVA Lacrosse Teams (Roanoke Times Dispatch)
* Accused UVA Player Attacked Sleeping Student, Teammates Say (Washington Post)

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