- Jurors hear George Huguely's police interrogation from May 2010
- In it, he says he "shook" Yeardley Love "a little bit," but didn't strike her
- He cries when he's told, during interrogation, that the woman was dead
- Prosecutors say he killed Love intentionally; the defense says death was accidental
"She's not dead, she's not dead, she's not dead. Please tell me she's not dead."
With those words, the tears started to flow from George Huguely.
He'd earlier told the police investigator that he had "just wanted to talk" to his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love. Yes, Huguely admitted there had been some tussling between the two. He "shook her a little bit," maybe even "grabbed her a little bit by the neck" -- but he "never struck her," "never strangled her."
But when the interrogator told him that Love had died, Huguely refused to believe it -- insisting, over and over and over again, that "there's no way she can be dead."
The tears that the former University of Virginia lacrosse player shed that morning of May 3, 2010, inside the Charlottesville, Virginia, police station echoed Friday, as the interrogation video was replayed inside a courtroom in that same city.
They were matched by fresh tears from Huguely, who until then had showed little emotion during the first two days of testimony in his first-degree murder trial.
Louder still were the sobs from the victim's sister, Lexie Love, sitting on the opposite side of the central Virginia courtroom. At least two jurors also cried near the end of the replaying of the hour-long interrogation, as did many others -- associated both with the accused and the victim -- in the room.
Both Love and Huguely had played on their respective, nationally ranked Cavaliers' lacrosse teams. Others earlier testified about their tumultuous relationship, which ended with her violent death inside her Charlottesville residence nearly two years ago.
On Wednesday, the first full day with testimony, Huguely's attorney asked the jury to consider only an involuntary manslaughter conviction, arguing that Love's death was an accident.
Huguely has been held for nearly two years. If he's convicted of involuntary manslaughter, the most time he could serve is 10 years.
Prosecutors, for their part, claim that Huguely had followed through on his intentions to kill the 22-year-old Love.
Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Warner D. Chapman earlier this week read e-mails exchanged between the two after Huguely heard Love had allegedly slept with someone else.
The defendant wrote, "I should have killed you" and Love responded, "You should have killed me?" according to Chapman. Huguely then e-mailed back that the pair should talk.
And that's what Huguely claimed, during the police interrogation aired in court Friday, that he wanted to do when he visited Love on May 2, 2010. His recently estranged girlfriend had resisted his attempts to talk to her, so he went over to her apartment.
He didn't say it at first, but Huguely eventually admitted he kicked in Love's door -- suggesting he might have done so, in part, because he had consumed alcohol.
Once inside, "She started ... getting all oppressive. I shook her a little bit," he said.
Huguely claimed that Love, apparently "freaked out" by his presence, "kept banging her head against the wall."
Eventually, "the conversation was not going anywhere, so she got back in bed and I left," he said.
Yet, when pressed, Huguely later offered more detail, admitting that at one point the two had begun -- in his words -- "struggling."
"We were wrestling, I stood up and I tossed her on the bed," he said.
Huguely told police that he didn't leave the room empty-handed, taking Love's laptop computer and then tossing it in a dumpster.
"I was so pissed that she wouldn't talk to me that I took her computer as collateral, I guess," he said.
No calls were made then to get medical help for Love because Huguely said that he didn't think she needed any -- believing she suffered, at most, a bloody nose.
The next morning, a roommate found Love facedown, according to a sworn statement written by Charlottesville Police Det. Lisa Reeves that was used to obtain a search warrant.
The victim had "a large bruise on the right side of her face which appears to have been caused by blunt force trauma," according to the document.