The fate of George Huguely will soon be in the hands of the jury.
Deliberations begin Wednesday after lawyers presented closing statements Saturday in the 24-year-old's first-degree murder trial. The former University of Virginia lacrosse player is accused of breaking into his girlfriend's bedroom in a drunken rage, smashing her head against the wall, and stealing her computer, before leaving her for dead.
Yeardley Love, who died on May 3, 2010, was just two weeks from graduation. She, too, played on the school's lacrosse team.
Prosecutor Warner "Dave" Chapman wept in open court as he addressed the jury, according to ABCNEWS.com
"She couldn't scream ... was it his hand over her mouth? Was it her face being mashed into the floor?"
The 6-foot-tall Huguely was 8 inches taller and more than 100 pounds heavier than the young woman he had dated for two years. Medical examiners for the prosecution testified that she died of blunt force trauma to the head.
The prosecutor reminded jurors of an email Huguely wrote to Love, telling her, "I should have killed you," after finding out that she was dating another man.
In her closing, defense lawyer Francis McQ. Lawrence admitted his client "bears responsibility" in Love's death, according to the Washington Post.
"He played a role in that, and he will take responsibility for it in a way you determine,” he said, suggesting jurors should consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter rather than premeditated murder.
"He contributed to her death but he did not kill her," Lawrence told the court.
"He's not calculating. He's a boy athlete."
Jurors can also opt to convict the defendant on second-degree murder, if they decide he acted with malice but without premeditation.
USA Today noted that Huguely, who had cried at earlier points, sat attentively but impassively.
The paper also noted that Virginia's women lacrosse team played its first game of the season Saturday, and that the number Love wore -- No. 1 -- is now retired.
VIRGINIA LACROSSE MURDER GALLERY
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Francis Lawrence as a female. We regret the error.
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