Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Love Family Files Suit Against Lacrosse Coaches, Athletic Director

Yeardley Love, undated family photo.

The family of slain University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love received some closure when a jury convicted her ex-boyfriend George Huguely of murder. Now they’re looking for justice in civil court.

On April 26, 2012, Yeardley Love’s mother Sharon Love and sister Lexie Love filed a negligence suit against Virginia men’s lacrosse coach Dom Starsia, Associate Coach Marc Van Arsdale, Athletic Director Craig Littlepage, and the Commonwealth of Virginia – alleging the defendants displayed “reckless indifference” to the circumstances leading up to the murder. The Love family is asking for more than $29 million in damages. The suit claims that “it was well known to the players and coaches on the UVA men’s and women’s lacrosse teams that Huguely’s alcohol abuse and erratic, aggressive behavior was increasingly getting out of control, especially his obsession with Love and his aggressiveness and threats to Love.” Furthermore, the suit maintains that “UVA and its employees, officers, and agents had a duty to protect and keep its students safe.”

The Love family’s legal team cite several instances of George Huguely’s violent behavior in the run-up to the 2010 murder: in 2008, Huguely was convicted for public intoxication and resisting arrest; in 2009, he caused a concussion to a sleeping teammate who had been seen with Love; and in 2010, he had a physical altercation with Love in which he
choked her.

No court dates have been set in the Love’s civil trial as yet.

George Huguely booking photo.

Huguely remains in a Charlottesville jail, awaiting his sentencing scheduled for August 30, 2012. A jury has already recommended a 26-year sentence for the second-degree murder conviction. Although the evidentiary phase of the case has been over for months, some of the trial exhibits will be made available for public viewing in a Charlottesville courtroom on May 15 & 16.

Many key exhibits in the trial were screened only to the jurors in the case – and their monitor was turned away from the gallery so the media and court watchers could not see. Included in the evidence to be displayed is Huguely’s videotaped statement to police in which he admits to arguing with Love, but leaving her bloodied and alive; text messages between Love and Huguely; and crime scene diagrams and photos.

The court has ordered that no recording or reproduction of the exhibits will be allowed.

Slideshow: The Murder of Yeardley Love

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