Huguely defense lines up 20 witnesses for hearing

One year ago this week, George Huguely notched his final points as a member of the UVA lacrosse team. The fourth-year student assisted on a goal against the University of North Carolina, and then scored one of his own during a home loss to Duke in front of a crowd of 8,000. Within weeks, Huguely was arrested following the gruesome death of fellow student-athlete and ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love, told law enforcement officers that he shook her while she bled, and was charged with first-degree murder.

Rhonda Quagliana and Francis McQ. Lawrence, attorneys for former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely (above), assembled a group of former teammates, local residents and medical experts for a preliminary hearing on Monday.

Now, defense attorneys for Huguely have readied a roster of their own—20 witnesses, who were subpoenaed to testify in Charlottesville General District Court on Monday. (Check This Just In for updated reports on the hearing.) The witnesses—teammates, law enforcement, neighbors and medical experts—reflect many of the rumors that surrounded Love’s death, and may provide a glimpse at Huguely’s defense.

In January, defense attorneys Rhonda Quagliana and Francis McQ. Lawrence asked for a continuance so they could seek analysis of the amount of Adderall in Love’s blood, as well as the “presence or absence…of certain neuro-pathological findings.” Defense was previously denied access to Love’s medical records, but granted access to her Adderall prescription after a medical consultant testified that Love could have died from cardiac arrhythmia rather than blunt-force trauma.

In addition to Assistant Chief Medical Examiner William Gormley, who performed Love’s autopsy, defense subpoenaed a few medical experts capable of discussing Love’s toxicology report as well as her brain. Those experts include forensic toxicologist Connie Luckie and Dr. Maria-Beatriz Lopes, a neuropathology fellow at UVA who researches brain tumors. However, Lopes did not return requests for comment, and a spokesperson for the UVA Health System said Lopes would not testify. Huguely’s attorneys did not return calls before deadline.

During a previous preliminary hearing, Richmond-based lawyer and forensic pathologist Jack Daniel testified that Love’s brain injuries could have been caused by a lack of oxygen, while cortical contusions could have resulted from “vigorous CPR.” Defense also subpoenaed a member of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad for Monday’s hearing.

Additionally, Lawrence and Quagliana subpoenaed two of Huguely’s teammates, who were both among a group of UVA lacrosse players that were members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity. The DKE house was rumored to be the site of a fight between Huguely and Love. UVA Dean of Students Allen Groves and President Emeritus John Casteen previously said they had no knowledge of such an altercation.

Lacrosse teammate and DKE member Mikey Thompson, who graduated last year, did not return e-mail requests for comment. Thompson told last year that members of the UVA team spent several vacations together at a house owned by the Huguely family in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Ten members of the Charlottesville Police Department were subpoenaed—six by Huguely’s defense, and four by Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman. Lawrence and Quagliana also subpoenaed employees from Jimmy John’s, a sandwich shop on the UVA Corner, and the manager of Boylan Heights, a restaurant and bar visited by UVA lacrosse team members. However, requests for comment were not returned. 

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