CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) – If you want to follow the high-profile UVA lacrosse murder case, you won't be able to do it on live television. Monday, a Charlottesville judge denied a motion to allow cameras in the courtroom.
George Huguely, 24, is accused of first degree murder and other charges in the 2010 death of his former girlfriend, Yeardley Love.
The TV organization known as "In Session", formerly known as Court TV, wanted to do live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial in 2012. But when the judge said no, it wasn't hard to figure out why.
It could've been all the cameras -including ours- chasing attorneys down the street; a so-called "circus" atmosphere unfamiliar in this tree-lined town.
Or, it could've been the possible invasion of the jury's privacy on live TV. Whatever the reason, attorneys for both the prosecution and defense argued against having cameras in the courtroom.
"Gavel to gavel coverage presents a clear and present danger" said the Commonwealth's Attorney, Warner Chapman, following defense arguments on the risk to the jury's anonymity.
After hearing both arguments, the judge agreed. He said the cameras pose a high risk to the integrity of the trial, and don't serve the public interest.
Other attorneys -paid by media outlets- left the courtroom staring down at their phones. "No comment", they said, to the very people whose rights they claim to support.
Elsewhere, George Huguely remained in custody. The now 24-year-old faces murder charges related to the May 2010 death of former girlfriend and fellow lacrosse player Yeardley Love.
Media attorneys told the judge live TV "will show the defendant in a more favorable light." But the judge was unconvinced...making sure that light, won't come from a camera.
In other matters, the judge allowed attorneys to examine Yeardley Love's medical records. Potential jurors will also have to fill out a questionnaire asking how much they've read or heard about the case. The judge was undecided on whether to sequester the future jury.
The trial remains on schedule for February of 2012 and is expected to last at least two weeks.