(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely pleaded not guilty Monday to six charges, including first-degree murder, in the 2010 death of his ex-girlfriend and classmate Yeardley Love.
Jury selection began Monday for the trial that is expected to last through next week. The court is choosing 12 jurors and three alternates from a pool of 160 potential jurors. The jurors are from Charlottesville, Va., and will not be sequestered during the trial.
Huguely, 24, appeared in court where he pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, felony murder in a robbery or attempted robbery, burglary, robbery of a residence, grand larceny, and entering a house with intention to commit a felony, according to media reports.
Love, 22, was found dead face-down in a pool of blood in the early hours of May 3, 2010 in her off-campus apartment in Charlottesville. Her face was covered in scrapes and bruises, according to a police warrant, and her right eye was swollen shut.
Love was a star lacrosse player at the school and a senior, just weeks away from graduation. Her murder rocked the tight-knit college town and became a source of national attention.
Huguely, also a lacrosse player for the school’s nationally ranked team, waived his Miranda rights in interviews with police after Love was found, and confessed that he kicked in the door to Love’s bedroom and shook her violently, repeatedly banging her head against the wall, according to police documents.
His attorneys have since claimed that Love’s murder was a tragic mistake and that Love’s death was caused by an irregular heartbeat caused by Adderall and alcohol, not a brutal beating. They also claim that Huguely did not know Love had died until he was told by a detective.
An autopsy performed on Love found that she died from blunt force trauma to the head.
If convicted of first degree murder, Huguely could be sentenced to life in prison. He could face 40 years if convicted of second degree murder. A manslaughter conviction could lower the sentence to 10 years.
Huguely is being held without bond in the Albermarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tara Bench, KSL.com
Eric Bradner, CNN Newswire