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UVA Lacrosse Murder Defense: Death Was an Accident

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- The lawyer for George Huguely V essentially conceded in his opening statement Wednesday that the former University of Virginia lacrosse player killed his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love, but said it was an accident.

Huguely is charged with first degree murder as well as other charges, but defense attorney Francis McQ. Lawrence told the jury in his opening statement that her death was not something Huguely planned or wanted to happen.

"Involuntary manslaughter could and should be only thought at this time.  Please take careful deliberation," Lawrence said.

He repeatedly said that Huguely, 24, had "no intent" to kill Love.

"He's not complicated. He's not complex. He's a lacrosse player," Lawrence said.

But prosecutors in their opening statement told the jury that Huguely, furious that Love, 22, had slept with someone else, had sent her a menancing email just days before she died on May 2, 1010.

"I should have killed you," the email stated.

Among the witnesses on the first day of testimony was Love's roommate and friend Caitlin Whiteley, who discovered Love's body on the night of her death.

"She wasn't moving," an tearful Whiteley told the jury.  "I remember that her body was still warm, but her feet were cold."

Whiteley described Love's body on the bed and that she noticed, "how discolored she was and her face and eyes were so messed up."

An enraged Huguely allegedly kicked through the door of Love's bedroom the night she died and shook her, banging her head against the wall, before leaving her bleeding. Her face was covered in scrapes and bruises, according to a police warrant, and her right eye was swollen shut.

The defense claims that Huguely left Love's apartment thinking that she just had a nose bleed. They also said that he took her computer because he wanted to use it later to make it necessary for her to see him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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