A College Lacrosse Star Killed by Her Raging Ex: The Story of Yeardley Love and George Huguely

The killing of Yeardley Love by ex-boyfriend George Huguely is being reexamined on HLN's "Lies, Crimes and Video."
University of Virginia

What ultimately led to Love's death at the hands of a former lover and what happened after an abusive relationship was uncovered?

It's been nine years since Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old college lacrosse star just weeks from graduation, was beaten to death in her own apartment by her raging ex-boyfriend.

That man, George Huguely, initially showed shock and sadness at the news of Love's death. But as the details of their relationship, which friends reportedly described in retrospect as troubled, came to light, Huguely was convicted of second-degree murder and is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend.

The tragic story of Love and her untimely death by Huguely is being reexamined in an episode of HLN's "Lies, Crimes and Video" called "Killer at College."

What ultimately led to Love's death at the hands of a former lover and what happened after an abusive relationship was uncovered?

Love was from Maryland and clearly loved sports growing up. She attended an all-girls high school and competed on the varsity lacrosse and field hockey teams, being named an All-County lacrosse player in 2006.

Huguely was an avid athlete as well. He attended an all-boys high school in Maryland and was an All-American lacrosse player. His senior year of school, he was the quarterback of the football team.

In 2007, Huguely was charged in Florida with underage possession of alcohol. He was arrested the next year for public intoxication and resisting arrest near a university in Virginia. He allegedly shouted obscenities and threats and got into a tussle with a female officer, and he was eventually tasered. He received a 60-day suspended sentence, probation, a fine and community service.

He went on to college at the University of Virginia. Huguely was reportedly required to tell the school of his arrest, but he allegedly did not.

It was at the University of Virginia where Love and Huguely met. Love, a government major and sorority member, was recruited by the university for lacrosse and she was a frequent starter on the school's team, the Cavaliers. Huguely was an anthropology major and played on the men's lacrosse team.

The pair dated for about two years and broke up shortly before the attack.

Huguely had been drinking in the hours leading up to his encounter with Love, and the two had reportedly gotten into a fight earlier in the night.

It was just after 2 a.m. on May 3, 2010, that police were called to Love's apartment. She was found face down on her bed in a pool of her own blood. After finding signs of a struggle, and investigation was quickly launched, and it didn't take long for Huguely to be questioned.

Footage of Huguely's interrogation shows authorities telling him about Love's death.

“No way. No way. No way. No way. No way,” Huguely says, breaking down.

Authorities tell Huguely they know he was there, and they ask how their time together "got out of control."

“It didn’t,” Huguely says. “I told you what happened. It didn’t get out of control.” He then repeats, “She’s not dead. She’s not dead.”

Huguely eventually admitted to police that he killed Love in a rage, kicking down her door and repeatedly slamming her head against the wall. Police also found Yeardley's laptop in his apartment, as well as a Virginia lacrosse shirt with a red stain.

Huguely was charged just hours after Love's body was discovered.

Details began to emerge that painted a much different life than the one many believed Love and Huguely had been living. Investigators looked at aggressive messages sent between the couple, with Huguely once writing to her "I should have killed you" when he learned she met someone new.

And according to Sports Illustrated, Huguely displayed troubling behavior toward others. One student told the magazine that she and Huguely exchanged numbers, saying, "He was cute, and he was charming when he was sober." But he eventually "bombarded her with text messages, sometimes as many as 20 in one hour -- 'never before 3 a.m.,' ... asking to come to her apartment." And Huguely allegedly punched his sleeping teammate who he thought had kissed Love.

Huguely was convicted in 2012 of second-degree murder and grand larceny in Yeardley's death, after the jury deliberated for nine hours. 

Love's death thrust her family into the fight against domestic violence. Sharon Love, her mother, told People that she realized "the life I knew was over" from the moment she learned of her daughter's death. "It was incomprehensible to me that someone I knew, someone that Yeardley cared for, had taken her life," she told the magazine.

So the family created the One Love Foundation, combining Love's name with the number of her lacrosse jersey. The organization educates "young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships, empowering them to identify and avoid abuse and learn how to love better."

One Love says it has reached over 100 million people with its content.

Love's killing by her ex-boyfriend gained renewed attention with the death of Ole Miss student Ally Kostial last week. Brandon Theesfeld, 22, attended college with Kostial and the two were reportedly casually dating. He was arrested on suspicion of murder, accused of shooting her multiple times. He has not yet entered a plea, though his father said he plans to plead not guilty.

HLN's "Lies, Crimes and Video" airs Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.