Cause of death focus of testimony in George Huguely trial - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Cause of death focus of testimony in George Huguely trial

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death given to jurors today in the murder trial of a former UVA lacrosse player.

George Huguely is accused of beating to death his former girlfriend, Yeardley Love. Some testimony was straight forward but some of it was highly technical.

Jurors heard from two brain experts and the Assistant Chief Medical Examiner again. He gave his opinion as to how Yeardley Love died which is in dispute.

Under recall by the prosecution, Dr. Bill Gormley, told jurors Love died of blunt force injuries, primarily to the brain. Gormley testified cardiac arrhythmia followed meaning Love's heart wasn't pumping enough blood.

To support that, jurors heard from two neuropathologists. One used a model of a skull and brain to walk the panel of seven men and seven women through her findings. Dr. Christine Fuller testified there was bleeding and bruising, but no swelling in the brain.

Fuller also described similar injuries to Love's brain stem which controls basic vital functions in the body.

Fuller testified bleeding wasn't linked to CPR.

According to earlier testimony, CPR efforts went on for 24 minutes the morning of May 3rd, 2010. Another doctor told jurors there was no sign Love was ever resuscitated.

Dr. Fuller told jurors just by looking at Love's brain, there was no question the injuries were from trauma and that death could have been instantaneous or a couple of hours.

Jurors Tuesday also heard about Love's blood samples. Gormley said results showed Love had a moderate blood alcohol level of .14. Not a level he said is consistent with death.

Test results also showed what Gormley described as a therapeutic level of amphetamine in Love's blood.

Gormley said George Huguely's defense team asked him to test for the prescription drug Adderral.

Testimony Monday revealed Love's last renewed prescription for the drug was two months before her death.

A blood spatter expert took the stand to go over photos of Love's bedroom.

Prosecution testimony is expected to go late into the evening.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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