(NEW YORK) — Attorneys for convicted University of Virginia killer George Huguely V asked a court Tuesday for a new trial. One of their main arguments is that instructions given to jurors on the pivotal point of malice were “inadequate.”
Huguely, 25, was convicted of second-degree murder and grand larceny in February 2012 for the beating death of ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love. He was sentenced to 23 years for murder, plus one concurrent year for the grand larceny conviction in August 2012 for stealing her computer.
His legal team is now arguing that there were a number of “constitutional and procedural errors” in the trial that they wish to appeal.
One of their main issues was the claim that the jurors were not properly instructed on the meaning of “malice,” a pivotal term in the trial that separated second-degree murder from manslaughter.
“Mr. Huguely requested an additional sentence in the jury instruction clarifying that malice requires ‘a wicked or corrupt motive’ or an ‘evil mind,'” Huguely’s attorneys wrote in the filing, which was obtained by ABC News. “The circuit court rejected that request even though this Court and the Virginia Supreme Court have repeatedly included this language in the definition of malice.”
During jury deliberations, the jurors asked for clarification on the definition of malice, which Huguely’s lawyers argue shows that the court’s instructions were “inadequate.”
“The evidence at trial was insufficient to establish malice beyond a reasonable doubt, and Mr. Huguely therefore should not have been convicted of any offense more serious than manslaughter,” the attorneys wrote.
Huguely was convicted of killing Love, 22, in a drunken rage in May 2010 just weeks before she was to graduate from the University of Virginia. Both Huguely and Love were star lacrosse players on the university’s elite teams.
Huguely’s legal team has filed motions for a new trial twice before and been denied both times.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire