George Huguely's father is expected to testify in his son's murder trial as the defense begins its first full day of testimony Friday.
The defendant and his father, George Huguely IV, played golf the day before the death of younger Huguely's ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love. The former University of Virginia lacrosse player is accused of murdering his ex in a drunken rage in May 2010.
Prosecutors charge that Huguely, then 22 years old, killed Love by banging her head against her bedroom wall just weeks before their graduation from the University of Virginia.
Huguely's lawyers contend that Love, 22, died perhaps from suffocation or from a reaction to the mix of alcohol and the ADD medication Adderall found in her body.
Proceedings were postponed yesterday after defense attorney Rhonda Quagliana fell ill and the Charlottesville, Va. court recessed midday, WVIR reports. When the trial resumed Friday, Quagliana remained absent from court.
Huguely is charged with first-degree murder and five other crimes including robbery and larceny. He pleaded not guilty.
During the first week and a half of the trial, jurors heard a recorded police interview where Huguely admitted scuffling with Love in her room the night she died. A medical expert called by the defense on Wednesday disputed the autopsy's finding that blunt force trauma to the head killed Love, saying that she probably suffocated from lying face-down on her bed while blood pooled in her mouth.
Many legal observers say the trial has not gone well for Huguely.
"Frankly, I think he will be convicted of murder," Beverley Hills defense attorney Mark McBride told The Huffington Post. "[The defense lawyers] concede that Huguely was there. They concede there was a struggle. You've got a defense pathologist who said Love might have died from suffocation, but there's not much question on how she got to the pillow."
The case has garnered national attention because of the savage violence allegedly unleashed by a privileged student-athlete on his former girlfriend, also a lacrosse player for the university.
The prosecution called about 50 witnesses, including former teammates who said Huguely regularly drank in excess. They also said Huguely sent an email to Love that said "I should have killed you" shortly before her death.
While the intense glare of the media has made the trial a spectacle, both the defense and prosecution have stuck to standard strategy, according to other experts.
"They're basically following the textbook on both sides," said Joseph Lindsey, a former prosecutor in Virginia, now in private practice.
"It sounds to me that the prosecution is basically trying to show he had these ill feelings for a long period of time and that this drinking is perhaps what gave him the will to act out," Lindsey said. With the medical testimony brought by the defense, he continued, "They could very well be saying that this isn't the result of anything he did, but the result of choices she made."
According to WHSV, Huguely's lead defense attorney Fran Lawrence anticipated the defense could rest their case as soon as Saturday. If convicted of first-degree murder, Huguely faces life in prison.