Warrants in Huguely case sealed due to publicity, ongoing investigation

Between Wednesday, May 5 and Friday, May 7, four orders were filed in the Charlottesville Circuit Court to seal search warrants (as well as the orders themselves) pertaining to the investigation of the slaying of 22-year-old UVA student Yeardley Love, and the charging of 22-year-old George Huguely in connection with her death. After a failed attempt by news media to unseal the orders on May 26, Judge Cheryl Higgins ruled today in Albemarle County Circuit Court that the orders may be unsealed.

The four orders were filed on behalf of the prosecution by Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman. The orders sealed search warrants for the residences of both Huguely and Love, as well as a search located in Albemarle County and searches of two vehicles. And while the orders omit further details on the vehicles and the Albemarle County search, they provide insight to the reasons why the warrants were sealed. Namely: publicity.

"The events underlying the case are receiving and are expected to continue to receive widespread publicity in local, state, and national news media," reads each order. The spread of information drawn from the warrants, according to the orders, might compromise law enforcement investigations and the selection of an impartial jury. Each order adds that investigations are ongoing, and items seized during searches might be used in trials.