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Trial begins for Virginia lacrosse player

Feb. 8, 2012 at 10:05 PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A lawyer for a University of Virginia student charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend told jurors Wednesday his client is not a deliberate killer.

Francis McQ. Lawrence conceded in his opening statement that George Huguely V was responsible for Yeardley Love's death, The Washington Post reported. But he said Huguely left Love's apartment on May 2, 2010, believing she was injured and said the only verdict jurors should seriously consider is involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors said Huguely sent Love a threatening e-mail a few days earlier, saying among other things, "I should have killed you." They charged he went to her apartment intending violence.

Huguely, 24, of Chevy Chase, Md., and Love, 22, of Cockeysville, Md., had been involved in a two-year relationship. They were both lacrosse players at the university.

The first witnesses at the trial included Love's mother and sister, a neighbor who described hearing a scuffle and seeing a man leave the apartment and Caitlin Wheelwright, Love's roommate, who described finding her body when she returned from an evening out.

Hugely faces a life sentence if he is convicted of murder.

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