Jury begins deliberations in Huguely case

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - The jury in the George Huguely murder trial began deliberations Wednesday morning, after a 3-day break following nearly two weeks of testimony.

Huguely faces charges of 1st-degree murder, 2nd-degree murder, Felony murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter in the death of fellow University of Virginia student Yeardley Love. Jurors will have to decide whether Huguely is guilty of any of the charges.

Deliberations began at 9:25 a.m. Wednesday, but less than an hour later the 7 men and 5 women were asking the judge the definition of the word "reason" as it pertains to one of their instructions. The judge said for them to use the standard definition and added that he expects many more questions to arise during deliberations.

Closing arguments ended late Saturday with Huguely's defense attorney asking jurors to carefully consider involuntary manslaughter and repeatedly saying his client did not intend to kill Love in May 2010.

In his lengthy remarks, Francis Lawrence told the jury it's never been their position that Huguely bears no responsibility, but that a combination of Love's injuries and alcohol led to her death.

Lawrence said Huguely was "stupid drunk," but not calculated and all he wanted to do was talk to Love and thought Love only had a nose bleed.

The prosecution pointed to Love's broken door, which they say was kicked in by Huguely, calling it the beginning of terror.

Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman said Love didn't move substantially after she was injured and Huguely knew she was hurt badly. As Chapman showed jurors a series of pictures of Love's bruised face, Love's sister, Lexie, caught a flash of one image. She dropped her head and cried.

Since Monday was a holiday and the grand jury met Tuesday, the judge held jury deliberations until Wednesday.

If convicted, the sentencing phase begins right after the verdict is announced.

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