Love had hit Huguely with purse days before her death, documents show

Teammate saw a threatening e-mail ex-boyfriend sent to her

August 19, 2010|By Steve Yanda, The Washington Post

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — — University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love was so angry at George Huguely V in the days before she was killed that she hit him with her purse, spilling its contents all over the floor, according to court documents released Wednesday.

Love, 22, a Cockeysville resident and graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory School, left Huguely's off-campus apartment without some items from the thrown purse, including her cell phone, forcing the former couple to communicate via e-mail, the documents say. Love showed a teammate an e-mail Huguely sent to her, the papers say. The contents of the e-mail were redacted from the court papers, but a source who spoke to that teammate said the e-mail, viewed on April 30, was described as threatening.

Huguely, 22, a Chevy Chase native who also played lacrosse at the school, is charged with first-degree murder in Love's death May 3. Police say Huguely banged Love's head against the wall of her room during an altercation.

The court papers — affidavits in support of search warrants — were released Wednesday by the Charlottesville Circuit Court as part of an agreement with news organizations. The documents were partly redacted and indicate what police found in searches of two Apple laptop computers seized from Huguely's bedroom the day Love was killed.

According to the affidavits, a witness told police May 4 that Love had told her about an e-mail Huguely sent the previous week. The witness, who was not identified in the court papers, told police she might have seen the e-mail while she and Love were in Chicago. The Virginia women's lacrosse team played April 30 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Aboard the team bus to the game, Love retrieved a threatening e-mail Huguely had sent her and showed it to teammates, according to a source close to some of the lacrosse players.

After the fight at Love's off-campus apartment the night she was killed, Huguely took Love's personal computer, according to court papers released earlier in the investigation. Huguely told police he threw her computer in the trash.

Detectives recovered the computer shortly after in a trash bin in Charlottesville, according to the affidavit released Wednesday.

A forensic search of Love's computer revealed fragments of an e-mail with a statement that was redacted in the affidavit. A fragmented e-mail is "a partial portion of an e-mail that has been retrieved from the deleted files of a computer that was previously sent or received," according to the affidavit.

Police believe the e-mail was sent in response to Huguely's. Two other witnesses told police of the e-mail exchange between Huguely and Love, court papers say.

Witnesses told police that Love lost her cell phone and a camera after a verbal argument with Huguely at his apartment in the days before she was killed. A friend of Love's told police she witnessed an altercation between Love and Huguely "a few days before Love's death," according to the affidavit.

"She stated that Love and Huguely were arguing and Love hit Huguely with her purse," the affidavit said. The witness, whose named was redacted, "stated that when Love's purse hit Huguely all her stuff flew out of her purse."

The witness helped Love collect her belongings and leave. Love later told the unnamed witness that she was missing her camera and cell phone and that she thought the items had been left at Huguely's apartment, according to the affidavit.

The witness said Love asked her to go to Huguely's apartment and get the items, which she tried to do. The affidavit said she found the camera but not the cell phone.

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