The civil suit has allowed a full understanding of the circumstances and events surrounding Yeardley’s death:
1. George never confessed that “during the course of the altercation he shook Love and her head repeatedly hit the wall.” (see link to watch police interrogation tape.)
• He fully cooperated with the police, waived his Miranda rights and handed over his telephone during his interview.
• He had no idea Yeardley was hurt much less dead. When told she was dead, George reacted with absolute disbelief and shock and sadness.
2. The media obtained the search warrant in the first 24 hours. Unfortunately, its wording gave the misleading impression that George admitted to beating Yeardley’s head against the wall. In fact, George stated that Yeardley shook her own head next to the wall to make a point during their emotional conversation.
• In fact, according to the lead forensic investigator, Officer Michael Flaherty, the room was undisturbed and the walls were intact. Photos hanging on wall were “nicely squared, hanging there, none of the glass is broken, they do not appear disturbed, knocked over, slanted in any way. They are neatly hung on the wall.” Dr. Michael Woodhouse, an expert biomechanical engineer, confirmed findings that the walls were intact, “no head contact with wall, no indentations, no bowing.” and Angela Rainey, forensic scientist, confirmed there was no blood on the walls.
• When George left the room Yeardley was alive.
• Not only was no blood ever observed on George or his clothing; there was no blood on his person, his clothes or at his apartment.
• Despite media reports to the contract, no bloody t-shirt ever existed.
• In a related proceeding, the Attorney General’s Office of the Commonwealth of Virginia conceded that Yeardley had no contact with wall. “In fact, there was neither damage to the wall where Huguely described nor evidence that Love actually came into contact with it.”
3. University of Virginia officials perpetuated several inaccurate statements about the events in the first 48 hours.
• At a vigil honoring Yeardley’s life on May 5, 2010, while the police investigation had just begun, the highest ranking official at UVA, President John Casteen delivered an emotional speech largely accepting early media coverage. “Yeardley Love did nothing to deserve to be attacked and beaten, to deserve to suffer the injuries of which we have all read in the police reports, to deserve to die; indeed for that matter, that woman beaten, thrown against walls, or in any way abused has ever deserved either to suffer or to die.”
4. George was originally charged with first degree murder. He was subsequently charged with felony murder, robbery, burglary, grand larceny and statutory burglary on December 23, 2010.
5. Yeardley Love’s cause of death was difficult to determine and still the subject of debate among the a number of highly regarded forensic pathologists who have looked at the evidence since all her injuries appear non fatal.
• The 911 call by Yeardley’s roommate was that Yeardley was unresponsive from alcohol poisoning. Yeardley’s BAC was at least .14 and could have been as high as .18 at the time of her death. It was also coming down meaning that it had been higher earlier that day.
• EMT unsuccessfully attempted to intubate her. The EMT report claimed she died of cardiac arrest.
• Dr. William Gormley, the chief medical examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, relied on a number of other specialists to determine the cause of death since his conclusions that it was blunt force trauma showed a number of atypical findings.
• Dr. Gormley acknowledged that Yeardley’s mechanism of injury could have been all caused by a single fall to the floor. Yeardley’s injuries to her face and head are all on the right side and could have come from a single contact with floor.
6. Sharon Love, the mother of Yeardley, has since described the injuries and the events leading them in a public legal pleading. Sharon Love acknowledges that two themes in the original media narrative are simply wrong. First, George never said that he banged Yeardley’s head into the wall. And all the available evidence suggests that he did not. Second, this was not, ‘the worst crime scene ever’.
• In fact, there was no sign of an altercation in the bedroom. Yeardley’s roommate originally suspected alcohol poisoning, and the 911 call made that claim. The only physical injuries were a bruised and swollen eye, a small amount of dried blood on her nose and mouth, and an abrasion under her chin.
• By numerous accounts, George was highly intoxicated after a 30 hour binge drinking marathon at the time he went to Yeardley’s apartment. Based on this fact, Sharon Love agrees that George was unable to form any intent to hurt Yeardley. He lacked the capacity to be aware that he was committing any crime. He lacked any capacity to recognize that any of his actions were wrong or illegal.
• In addition, to the factual allegations made by Sharon Love, the civil defense will show that Yeardley’s Love’s injuries were consistent with an accidental fall from her bed to the floor with George landing on her head. Of the multiple witnesses contacted by the police in that apartment complex at the time, the only one who heard anything was Anna Lehman in the apartment below Yeardley’s apartment. She is now a physician in Texas. She testified that she heard George enter and leave the apartment. He was there 8 to 10 minutes. That whole time, the only sound she heard was a loud crash. She described it as like a large bookcase hitting the floor. She heard no screams, yells, cries for help, or loud conversation. Based on her past experience having lived in that apartment over three years, if there had been conversation above normal speaking tones, she would have heard it.
7. The medical and related evidence has been reviewed by Jonathan Arden, M.D., a forensic pathologist and the former Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia. Dr. Arden has prepared a detailed report opining as to Yeardley’s cause of death and mechanism of injury. Love v Huguely – Arden Report. Dr. Arden opines as follows:
“Ms. Love sustained surface injuries that were not particularly severe, especially in the context of fatal head injuries. She had no fracture of the skull or facial bones. The more superficial injuries were predominantly to her right face and right side of her head, which is consistent with impact on a broader surface, including a forceful fall to the floor.”
8. The criminal jury acquitted George from Breaking and Entering with the intent to commit assault and battery, Felony Murder, Robbery, and Burglary. The jury essentially rejected any theory that George entered Yeardley’s apartment with ANY intent to either harm her or take anything.
• On September 5, 2012, David Chapman, the lead prosecutor, gave an interview to Henry Graff of NBC 29. In it, Mr. Chapman acknowledged there was never any intent from George to do Yeardley any harm. “There is nothing in the evidence that suggests to me he (Huguely) entered with the specific intent of taking her life.” (See video of David Chapman interview).
Attorney Matthew D. Green is available for interviews to discuss why George W. Huguely’s actions were not intentional. Please call 516-639-0988 / 516-901-1103