Defense attorneys challenge Love's cause of death

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) – A Charlottesville judge is mulling over the release of Yeardley Love's medical records.

The records for the University of Virginia lacrosse player -- who was found slain in May -- will stay sealed until the judge reviews them. Attorneys for the man accused of murder say key evidence is in those files.

According to the medical examiner's office in Richmond, Yeardley Love died of blunt force trauma to the head. Defense attorneys for George Huguely are now questioning that finding.

From the beginning, attorneys for Huguely have maintained Love's death was not a murder.  Francis Lawrence said outside his bond hearing in May, "We are confident that Ms. Love's death was not intended but an accident with a tragic outcome."

According to a search warrant affidavit, Huguely told police the night Love died, he kicked down her bedroom door and shook Love, repeatedly hitting her head against a wall. A Richmond medical examiner testified today Love had no fractures, but serious bleeding in her neck and trauma in her brain. He ruled her death blunt force trauma to the head.

An expert for the defense disagreed with the findings, saying she died of lack of oxygen to the brain that her injures may have been caused by CPR attempts by rescue personnel to save her life.

We also learned today, Love was legally drunk at the time of death with a blood alcohol level of .14 and that she had traces of Amphetamines in her system believed to be from her Adderall prescription. The defense argues that drug could also be a factor in her death. The medical examiner said there were no signs she abused the prescription.

The defense wants a look at Love's medical records from her four years at UVA to prove their theories. Prosecutor's call it a fishing expedition.

Huguely is being held at the Charlottesville jail. He will make his first court appearance, since his bond hearing, next month.

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