Add up the hours since George Huguely’s arrest in connection with the brutal slaying of his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, and the 22-year-old former UVA student has spent fewer than four days outside of his cell in Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Huguely, who is in segregation from the rest of the jail population, receives approximately one hour outside of his single-person cell every day, to wash or use the telephone.
Searches of the residences of murder suspect George Huguely and slain UVA student Yeardley Love were executed on May 3, after Love’s body was found. Search warrants had been sealed due to the media attention paid to the case, among other reasons, but were partially unsealed last week.
Asked why an inmate may be segregated from the general population, Major Adam Rodriguez, the chief of security at ACRJ, responded, “It could be either for disciplinary [reasons] or for his own protection—the safety and security of him.”
Contrast the safety and security of Huguely’s current quarters with the bedroom where Love was found. The location—Love’s bedroom, in a second floor apartment at 14th Street, a short walk from Huguely’s former residence—was rendered in grotesque detail last week with the release of five search warrants and two affidavits for warrants sealed after Huguely’s arrest.
The search warrant for Love’s bedroom lists 24 items seized by local law enforcement, from a Natural Light can to a pink laptop case. Six items on the list, from swabs and towels to a comforter, sheets and a bed apron, feature “red stains.”
Other seized items include multiple hair and fiber samples, two mobile phones and the door to Love’s bedroom. According to city police, Huguely admitted he kicked his right foot through the door. A black t-shirt from Love’s bedroom, retrieved by her family following initial crime scene processing, was reacquired by Charlottesville police “very shortly after the incident occurred,” according to city spokesman Ric Barrick.
While the phrase “red stains” remains legally opaque, one search affidavit mentions that Huguely told police he “saw blood coming from Yeardley Love’s nose” during their altercation. Huguely, who reportedly waived his Miranda rights, also told police that Love wore a t-shirt and panties when he arrived at her apartment, and he “pushed Yeardley onto her bed and left” following their altercation.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman told C-VILLE his comments would be reserved for future court hearings. “We’re not commenting independently outside of the court about the case, including the proceedings related to the release of search warrant-related materials.” Huguely’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 7.
Huguely’s lawyers, Francis McQ. Lawrence and Rhonda Quagliana, did not return requests for comment by press time. Thus far, the defense’s sole statement on the case is the reference to Love’s death as “an accident with a tragic outcome,” something Lawrence said after Huguely’s first appearance in General District Court via teleconference. A call last week to Sharon Donnelly, Love’s mother, was not returned.
The search of Love’s bedroom was the first of the five warrants executed, at 6:47am on Monday, May 3, hours after her body was found. Six hours later, while police collected DNA swabs, fingernail scrapings, hair samples and clothing from Huguely, more officers searched his apartment and seized a notebook, two laptop computers and a white UVA lacrosse t-shirt also bearing a red stain.
Huguely told police he was wearing a pair of blue cargo shorts during his altercation with Love. During the search of his residence, police found a pair of shorts matching the description, with Huguely’s passport and the keys to his 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe in the pockets.
Police searched Huguely’s car and seized a digital camera, phone, and multiple handwritten notes. The car, stored at Charlottesville Wrecker Service, was released within two days of the search to George Huguely’s father, according to Charlottesville Police Lieutenant Gary Pleasants.
At Huguely’s apartment, police also found a letter addressed to Yeardley Love. Pleasants declined to comment on the content or author of the letter.
“We’ve read it, certainly, but we’re not releasing the contents of the letter,” said Pleasants, who said the contents would come out in court. He also declined to comment further on details of the crime scene or other locations where warrants were executed.
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