Former University of Virginia lacrosse star George Huguely V has been convicted of second-degree murder by a Charlottesville jury in the death of UVA student Yeardley Love. The verdict, which took jurors almost exactly nine hours to come to, is the second highest charge he could’ve been convicted of. He was also found guilty grand larceny, but found to be innocent on the other four counts including burglary.
After finding Huguely guilty of the two counts, a sentencing hearing took place immediately after. Huguely himself took the stand before the jury recommended a sentence of 26 years in prison, 25 years for the second degree murder and one year for the grand larceny. The maximum sentence for second degree murder in the state of Virginia is 40 years and the maximum sentence for grand larceny is 20 years.
The judge will now take the jury’s suggested sentence under advisement. He has the ability to either accept the recommendation as is or lessen it. He cannot hand out a greater sentence than the jury suggested. The sentencing of George Huguely V has been tentatively scheduled for April 16.
Second-degree murder, by definition, means that the jury found George Huguely guilty of actually committing the murder of his then-girlfriend Love with malicious intent. However, the conviction also means that the jury did not believe he was guilty of first degree murder, which would be a premeditated nature, meaning that Huguely went to Love’s apartment expecting to kill her.
While they did not get the first degree murder conviction they were lobbying for, it is fair to say that Wednesday’s judgment was much more in favor of the prosecution as the jury could have found Huguely guilty of not one but two lesser counts or even innocent of every charge altogether.