Huguely Trial Day 8: Lacrosse players testify that Huguely lied

Posted at 2:37 PM, Feb 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-28 18:54:05-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -The prosecution has rested its case Wednesday in the murder trial of George Huguely.

Huguely, 24, faces six charges, including first-degree murder, in connection with the death of Yeardley Love, his ex-girlfriend. He has pleaded guilty to none of the charges. Today the defense attempted to have five charges against Huguely dismissed, all except grand larceny.

Both Huguely and Love played lacrosse at the University of Virginia.

Former UVA lacrosse players and Huguely's roommates testified that Huguely lied about where he was for a period of time on the night of Yeardley Love's death, reported CBS 6 News' Catie Beck.

Several recounted the hours leading up to Love's death, and from the stand Wednesday, testified they were suspicious about Huguely's claimed whereabouts around the time of Love's murder.

But they first they described the events of the day prior to that time.

Former player Ken Clausen testified that on May 2, 2010, Huguely and several other players were participating in a father-son golf tournament hosted for the team. Clausen and several others recalled seeing Huguely drinking that morning. Clausen said Huguely had a beer in hand and had "glossy eyes" by 11 that morning.

Another friend, who had ridden in the car to the tournament with Huguely, said he was also drinking beers on the way there.

"He was still pretty drunk from the night before and was drinking beers on the way there," said Mikey Thompson, former friend and player.

Friends testified that throughout that day Huguely continue to drink and become more intoxicated and behaving in an inappropriate manner.

"He was clearly still drunk, not walking straight and was saying things that were fairly embarrassing," said Thompson.

Later that day, after the game had ended, others recalled Huguely continuing the behavior at a gathering inside the golf clubhouse.

Thompson would testify that Huguely was trying to tell stories that did not make sense and that it was "not a party atmosphere and off putting" for many there.

Clausen and Thompson then testified that they accompanied George and his father to Charlottesville restaurant. Clausen said on the way there Huguely and his father were arguing about the volume of the radio in the car.

Once they arrived at the restaurant, Thompson said two bottles of wine were shared. He said another embarrassing moment was created when George spilled a bottle and potentially broke a wine glass at the table.

Clausen recalls Hugeuly's father telling him at that point to stop drinking, while Thompson recalls that the event expedited their departure.

"We shorted our stay a bit because of George's condition, we just wanted to get out of there," Thompson said.

Once out of the restaurant, Thompson testified that he and Clausen observed George urinating on the side of a building before getting back in the car to be dropped off at their apartments.

Thomson and Clausen said that once they returned, they went inside and Huguely remained in the car with his father.

After about fifteen minutes, they recalled George coming in to his apartment appearing frustrated. They remember Huguely attributing his demeanor to an argument that had just occurred with his father over a graduation gifts.

Huguely would tell his friends in the apartment that his father was trying to get him to sign something but that it was "a scam."

From that point, around 10:30 p.m., several players testify to hanging out for the next hours in and around Huguely's apartment. Some recall that Huguely was there around that time and was still very intoxicated.

One player remembered seeing him in his room charging his cell phone. Clausen said sometime around 11:40 p.m. that several players left the apartment to buy beer from a nearby store before the midnight cut off point for alcohol sales.

Clausen said at some point after their return, the friends were drinking beer when Huguely walked in to the apartment. Clausen said he questioned Huguely about where he had been. He claimed Huguely told him that he was visiting two friends in a downstairs apartment.

The friends he cited were also lacrosse players and one lived in an apartment just downstairs from Huguely's.  Huguely said he had been with Chris Clements and Will Bolton inside Clements' apartment. Huguely also made mention that Clements was drunk at the time.

The story immediately raised a red flag for Clausen who testified that he had knowledge that Clements was working on a paper and was not likely drinking. Clements own testimony confirmed Clausen's suspicions, claiming he had been in his room working on his paper all night and had never physically seen Huguely -- only heard him knock at his bedroom door sometime around 11.30. Clements said he told Huguely, through a locked door, that he was working and to go away.

The testimony then confirmed that the part of Huguely's story concerning Will Bolton, the other friend he cited, was also found untrue by Huguely's friends.

Bolton said he was called by Huguely's roommate Kevin Carroll.

"He said to come on upstairs from Clements apartment and I responded to him by saying I'm in my own apartment," said Bolton from the witness stand. He would testify that to that point he had not seen George Huguely that day.

Soon after the pieces of Huguely's story were not adding up, Clausen said he grew increasingly concerned.

"It was clear he was lying about where he was and there was no reason to lie about something like that," said Clausen. He said a short time later he would confront Huguely who was sitting on the couch with a blank and disturbed look on his face.

"I said to him George, what's wrong with you?," said Clausen.  He recalled asking the same question two more times and got no response.

Thompson would add in his testimony that he recalled Huguely entering his apartment after he'd gone to bed that night, sometime around midnight. He vaguely recalls Huguely using his bathroom briefly but couldn't be specific about what exactly he did.  He said that Huguely then poked his head in to Thompson's bedroom and moments later left the apartment.

Several of the players testified that there had been growing concern among them about Huguely's abusive drinking habits. Several admitted to having conversations among each other about how bad the situation had become.

"The drinking had gotten out of control and needed to stop," said Thompson.

Clausen would testify to something similar. "He'd been drinking a lot and it was getting kind of ridiculous," he said, "he was getting more belligerent than the rest of us."

All who testified admitted to having friendships with both Love and Huguely. The loyalties were somewhat evident in the testimony.

The least helpful witness for the prosecution was Kevin Carroll, Huguely's roommate at the time of the murder.

Carroll was present for many of the events in question, but claimed he could not recall where George said he had been that night.

In fact, even after prosecutors asked him to read what looked like his own previous statements about it, he claimed he could not recall.

Inversely, perhaps most valuable to prosecutors in this morning's testimony was Ken Clausen. He would tell the jury that Yeardley Love was one of his best friends and was later a pallbearer at her funeral.

Several other female witnesses were briefly called to the stand Wednesday morning.

Three woman who claimed to have casual acquaintance type relationships with Huguely, testified that there were contacted I within the hours prior to Love's death.

While the text messages and communications were mostly read and not heard in open court, it was clear that the diaologue was of a flirtatious nature.

One girl testified that Huguely was asking about whether or not she had a boyfriend who lived in Charlottte.

The prosecution is expected to rest formally around 2 p.m. and then the defense is expected to begin calling their close to fifty witnesses to the stand.

During Tuesday's testimony, neuropathologist Christine Fuller described the damage she observed when she dissected Love's brain.

Reporter Catie Beck [Follow on Twitter] is providing updated trial coverage from Charlottesville.

You can also follow the trial on Twitter [Click here].