Huguely Trial Blog, The Relationship: Living at the bar

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Caity Whiteley (right), Love’s roommate and close friend, has been a crucial witness for the prosecution and the defense. The defense has used her testimony to show that Huguely and Love were part of a close-knit party scene centered around their favorite bar, Boylan Heights. Whiteley was the last person to see Love alive before the altercation with Huguely that ended her life. (Image courtesy of Nick Strocchia.)

The Huguely Trial Blog picks up tomorrow with a recap of Monday’s day in court. Look for more detailed analysis of the evidence and arguments used in the first week in Tuesday’s print edition of C-VILLE Weekly. Here’s a preview…

The Relationship

The relationship between Yeardley Love and George Huguely has been described as both “on-and-off” and “turbulent.” One friend said they started dating during their first year of school, but another said it was their third year. The general consensus seems to be that they were together for about two years. In their last year, the relationship was “more rocky than usual,” according to Love’s roommate Caity Whiteley.

The male and female lacrosse teams were very close, involved in relationships that for many of them stretched back to high school. Huguely and Love existed in an even closer subset of that group. They were friends, teammates, and romantic partners. The main characters involved in the testimony all shared apartments on 14th Street, close to the Corner, up the street from their favorite bar, Boylan Heights.

Mike Burns was a lacrosse player at The University of North Carolina who met Love at the 2008 Preakness Stakes, the Triple Crown horse race held in Baltimore every May for the past 136. They “hooked-up,” meaning they engaged in some kind of sexual activity. The two met again when they were both living in New York the summer of 2008, and were romantically involved. February 27, 2010, Burns and some friends came up to UVA and went to a party at Huguely’s apartment. It was there that Burns says he saw Huguely choking Love. Burns spent the night with Love, and they hooked up again. In the spring of 2010, Love visited Burns in Chapel Hill where they “had some sort of relationship.” Huguely angrily mentioned Burns in a series of emails partially recovered from Love’s computer and Huguely’s Blackberry by forensics.

Stephanie Aladj, who graduated from UVA in 2010, lived on Love’s hall her first year and both were members of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. The two were friends at first, until Aladj started hooking-up with Huguely. Aladj says she never knew whether Love and Huguely were together at any given time and maintains that she and Love had “cleared the air” in 2009, becoming friends afterward. Aladj said that Huguely would come over to her house once or twice a week during the spring of 2010. He came to her house very late the night of Tuesday, April 27 and stayed for an hour. Earlier the same night, Love had heard from two tennis players that Huguely had been seen with another girl, presumably Aladj, which allegedly prompted Love to storm into his apartment and hit him in the face with her purse.

These are the people who spent nearly every waking hour with Love and Huguely, so in addition to being primary eyewitnesses, they’ve also helped the prosecution paint a picture of Huguely as a violent alcoholic in a troubled relationship. The picture the defense is painting is not really that different, only they’re trying to show that Love existed in the same dysfunctional world.

As far as I can tell, the defense is arguing that both Love and Huguely were jealous and hurt by each other’s infidelities. The anger they felt had created a mutually abusive relationship punctuated by violent arguments. I don’t want to speculate too much about how they will make use of the sexual aspect of the relationship, but they have already indicated that Love taunted Huguely with her affairs with Burns. Jealousy, of course, cuts both ways, and it could just as easily be seen as Huguely’s motive.

Read Day Five of the Huguely Trial Blog here.

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