Killing focuses officials on safety

Accused boyfriend reportedly had violent streak

May 07, 2010|By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore-area police are preparing for hundreds of mourners and a heavy media presence today and Saturday as friends and family gather to mourn Yeardley Love, the University of Virginia senior from Cockeysville who, police say, was killed by her former boyfriend.

"We are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of pedestrians and anyone that might be going to her viewing," said Lt. Rob McCullough, the police spokesman in Baltimore County. Afternoon and evening viewing hours for Love are planned at the Ruck Funeral Home, at York Road and West Street in Towson.

Hundreds of mourners are also expected Saturday for 10 a.m. funeral services at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, at 5200 N. Charles St. in north Baltimore

City police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said half of North Charles Street near the Cathedral will be closed to accommodate satellite trucks and other vehicles that are expected as media outlets from Maryland, Virginia and national networks arrive to cover the event.

"We are expecting a lot," Guglielmi said. He urged the merely curious to "respect the family's wishes" as to who is to attend the funeral, and "give them privacy and respect."

Among those expected to attend both events are members of the University of Virginia women's lacrosse team. They will be taking a break from their final exam preparations and an anticipated berth in the NCAA tournament to pay their respects to their former teammate.

Back in Charlottesville, meanwhile, a public Roman Catholic Mass for Yeardley was planned for noon today in the University Chapel. It was organized by the Catholic Student Ministry.

As family and friends prepared to mourn their loss and celebrate Love's life, the officials in Virginia began to look for ways to prevent such tragedies, even as more troubling reports emerged about the suspect in the case, George Huguely.

The New York Daily News Friday quoted an unnamed "friend" and summer league lacrosse teammate who said Huguely "partied really hard and when he was drunk … could be violent."

The teammate said Huguely was "obsessive" about his relationship with Love, constantly texting and calling her, to a degree that worried people close to her, the Daily News reported.

The newspaper said a former Virginia student who was friends with both Huguely and Love reported that the young man had recently attacked Love, but had no recollection of the event the next day, which led to their breakup. The friend said Huguely had been seen breaking bottles at a party before Love's death and told people he was going to Love's apartment to get her back.

Charlottesville police said no protective order against Huguely had been filed in the local magistrate's office, the Daily News reported.

The president of the University of Virginia will meet with the state's governor to consider tougher laws protecting university students from violence.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and university President John T. Casteen will discuss potential legislation, McDonnell's office said Thursday. Among the topics may be legislation requiring police to report student arrests to the university.

The governor reached out yesterday after Casteen acknowledged the school had been unaware that Huguely, had had several run-ins with police before Love's death.

"The governor wants to study and fully consider every possible idea that could help prevent such a senseless crime from taking place in the future," the governor's press secretary, Stacey A. Johnson, said Thursday. "He looks forward to hearing the president's insights and thoughts on the issue."

Love, 22, a graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory School for Girls in Towson, was killed early Monday. Huguely, 22, a member of the University of Virginia men's lacrosse team who grew up in Chevy Chase, has been charged with first-degree murder in her death. The two had been dating, but Huguely told police the relationship had ended.

Documents from investigators in Charlottesville describe the bedroom where Love was discovered as a violent crime scene. A hole had been kicked through the door, and Love lay in a pool of blood with bruises on her face and one eye swollen shut. Roommates who called police first suspected alcohol poisoning, and police say they are exploring the role that alcohol might have played in the crime.

Yesterday police in Florida released a report describing a "very heated" incident involving Huguely and his father.

According to records from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, on Dec. 29, 2008, a police marine unit picked up a radio call from Huguely's father, who was aboard the family's 40-foot sport fishing boat, the Reel Deal.

The father, George Huguely IV, reported his son had jumped into the ocean after an angry verbal altercation on the boat. The son was attempting to swim the quarter-mile to shore, and refused to get back into the boat or to take a life ring thrown to him.

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