George Huguely is appealing his second-degree murder charge, claiming he was denied his right to representation during his trial last February in Charlottesville and citing a number of other objections.
The Daily Progress’ Samantha Koon had the story yesterday, reporting that Huguely appears to have hired new lawyers. Attorneys Paul D. Clement of Washington, D.C. and Craig S. Cooley of Richmond filed on his behalf with the Court of Appeals of Virginia, instead of Charlottesville lawyers McQ. Lawrence and Rhonda Quagliana, who represented him here last year. Clement is a former U.S. Solicitor General, and, according to the Washington Post, “one of the top litigators in the country.”
Huguely was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23 years in prison in the 2010 beating death of Yeardley Love, 22, when both were senior UVA lacrosse players just weeks from graduation.
His 57-page appeal of the conviction rehashes a number of arguments previously raised by Huguely’s attorney, taking issue with several of Charlottesville Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire’s decisions during the trial. Hogshire should have suspended the trial when Quagliana became ill with stomach flu, the attorneys argue, and he refused to sequester jurors, allow certain jury questioning, and failed to deliver proper jury instructions. The appeal also claims prosecutors failed to disclose that they knew Love’s family was planning a $30 million civil suit against Huguely.
The appeal also claims the evidence presented by Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman wasn’t enough to prove murder, as opposed to manslaughter.
Love’s mother, Sharon Love, has filed two $30-million wrongful death lawsuits—one against Huguely and a second against UVA, two lacrosse coaches, and Athletics Director Craig Littlepage.
In an Associated Press story carried by multiple news outlets, Huguely’s mother Marta Murphy issued a statement saying the family “has faith in the legal system and looks forward to the appeals process ahead.”‘
Prosecutors have 30 days to respond to the appeal.