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Trial of lacrosse player in girlfriend's death begins

A former University of Virginia lacrosse player and the ex-girlfriend he is accused of killing traded allegations of infidelity and angry emails in the months before her death, with one of his messages saying: "I should have killed you," prosecutors said Wednesday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former University of Virginia lacrosse player and the ex-girlfriend he is accused of killing traded allegations of infidelity and angry emails in the months before her death, with one of his messages saying: "I should have killed you," prosecutors said Wednesday.

FILE - This undated file photo provided by Media Relations University of Virginia shows Yeardley Love. George Huguely is charged with first-degree murder, robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, grand larceny and murder in the commission of robbery in the death of Yeardley Love during a drunken confrontation in May 2010. Huguely pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges on Monday. Jury selection continues in Huguely's trial continues Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 in Charlottesville Circuit Court. (AP Photo/Media Relations University of Virginia, File)Media Relations University of Virginia

George Huguely V faces murder and other charges in the May 2010 death of Yeardley Love, who played on the woman's lacrosse team. During opening statements Wednesday, Huguely's attorneys said he was very drunk the night Love died and incapable of plotting to kill her. They also disputed evidence prosecutors said shows Love's head hit a wall several times and that she died of blunt-force trauma.

Prosecutor Dave Chapman said Huguely had a pattern of violence against Love, and he intended to kill her and steal her laptop to get rid of incriminating evidence. Two days before Love's death, Huguely accused Love in an email of having a relationship with a University of North Carolina lacrosse player, Chapman said.

"When I found out about Mike Burns, I should have killed you," the email said, according to Chapman.

Love showed the email to her teammates, who will testify about it, the prosecutor said.

Huguely and Love dated for two years, but in their final year of college it became an on-again, off-again relationship, which contributed to arguments and the exchange of angry and abusive emails.

Defense attorney Francis Lawrence said a videotape of Huguely's interview with police will show he is not a calculating criminal.

"He's not complicated. He's not complex. He's a lacrosse player," Lawrence said.

Huguely went to Love's apartment to talk and work things out, not to kill her, Lawrence said. He took the laptop as "collateral" — a way to get her to continue to talk to him, not to destroy evidence, the defense attorney said.

Huguely wasn't aware Love was dead until police informed him later, Lawrence said.