After a two-year relationship filled with abuse that largely went ignored by others, George Huguely murdered Yeardley Love in a drunken rage inside her apartment on May 3, 2010.
Hours before her death, someone asked 22-year-old Yeardley Love how things were going with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, George Huguely. “Same old stuff,” Love replied. “Everything is good.” Yet that night, Huguely would kick down her door in a drunken rage and beat her to death.
Though Yeardley Love’s murder shocked the nation — and even George Huguely himself, who was allegedly so drunk that he hardly remembered what he’d done — the subsequent investigation into their relationship found a number of warning signs. Huguely had been violent toward Love before and, in an email he sent after one of their break ups, even told her that he “should have killed you.”
So what exactly happened between Yeardley Love and George Huguely on May 3, 2010, the night of her tragic death?
This is the haunting story of George Huguely, from his privileged beginnings, to how he murdered his girlfriend in a drunken rage, to where he is today.
George Huguely’s Privileged Beginnings
Born on Sept. 17, 1987, George Huguely V came from a long line of successful George Huguelys. ABC News reports that Huguely’s great-grandfather founded the prosperous company Galliher & Huguely in 1912, which long provided construction supplies to the Washington, D.C. area.
The success of the company allowed the family to invest in racehorses and property, and it opened doors to country clubs and yacht clubs. Huguely’s father was a “self-employed investor,” his mother a part-time model at Saks Fifth Avenue, and Huguely attended prestigious private schools.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Huguely enrolled in the elite Landon School starting in ninth grade, where he quickly gained a reputation for his brazen confidence. Huguely bet his freshman year football coach that he’d make a big play in exchange for a kiss from the coach’s fiancée (Huguely made the play) and once stole his lacrosse coach’s car keys. To gales of laughter from his teammates, Huguely drove the car onto the lacrosse field.
At the University of Virginia, George Huguely continued to play lacrosse but wasn’t the star he had been in high school. He also started showing tendency toward anger and drunkenness.
In 2008, Huguely got in a fight with his father aboard their yacht while the family was in Palm Beach. Huguely leapt from the boat into the water and refused to return.
That same year, he was arrested after a police officer found him stumbling drunk in traffic. When she confronted the 6’1″, 200-pound Huguely, he threatened her and used racial and sexual epithets. The officer had to user her Taser to subdue him and Huguely later plead guilty to resisting arrest and public intoxication.
His attorney admitted that Huguely had been “just so drunk, he did not remember doing or saying any of those things, really.”
Meanwhile, Huguely had started to go out with a lacrosse player named Yeardley Love. But their relationship would ultimately come to a deadly end.
The Brutal Murder Of Yeardley Love
George Huguely and Yeardley Love dated for two years, on and off, and had a volatile relationship. Huguely’s excessive drinking strained things between them and Huguely was often violent.
In February 2009, he attacked a teammate in his sleep because he’d heard that the teammate had walked Love home. A year later, Huguely choked Love at a lacrosse victory party. A player from North Carolina heard Love cry: “Help, I can’t breathe,” and found Huguely with his hands around her neck.
Afterward, Love went home to Baltimore to get away from Huguely. But the Baltimore Sun reports that they continued to travel in the same social circles and were seen together in the weeks leading up to Love’s death. One friend said that Huguely was “trying to get back on her good side” after the assault.
Behind closed doors, however, things remained strained.
On April 30, 2010 Huguely sent Love an angry email about a relationship she’d had with another man and wrote: “I should have killed you.” Though the two continued to send angry emails to each other, they began to reconcile. On May 2, they were even seen together holding hands.
By then, however, Huguely had been drinking nonstop for almost 30 hours following his final lacrosse game of senior year. His attorney later said that a “conservative estimate” would be that that Huguely had 45 to 50 drinks during that time. And when Huguely went to Love’s apartment at around 11:45 p.m. that night, things quickly got out of hand.
Though Huguely later claimed that he went to see Love “just to talk,” prosecutors later argued that things got violent between the two almost immediately.
As the Washington Post reports, prosecutors claimed that Huguely had kicked down Love’s door, then reached inside so that he could unlatch it. He then grabbed Love, banged her against the wall, and left her bleeding on the floor. Love’s roommate found her body a few hours later.
Afterward, police quickly tracked Huguely down. He admitted that he’d gone to see Love but insisted that they’d done little more than argue. “We were just going to talk,” Huguely said. “It was not at all a good conversation… We were wrestling. I pushed her onto the bed and left.”
When police told George Huguely that Love was dead, he was incredulous. “[T]here’s no way she can be dead,” Huguely repeated. But Yeardley Love was dead. And George Huguely was charged with murder.
Where Is George Huguely Today?
During his trial in 2012, prosecutors alleged that George Huguely had beaten Yeardley Love to death after drunkenly breaking into her apartment. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Halfway into his sentence, Huguely took the stand in a wrongful death lawsuit and claimed that he didn’t remember most of the attack on Love. He claimed that he didn’t remember breaking into her room or injuring her — only that she had a bloody nose.
Citing his “out of control” drinking at the time, Huguely told the court that his memory was like a slideshow, and that 98 percent of the slides from the night of May 2 had disappeared.
“I miss her and think about her every day,” Huguely said. “I would do anything to take back that night. I take responsibility for what happened to her and I should have never gone over to her apartment that night.”
For Yeardley Love’s family, it doesn’t matter if George Huguely meant to kill Love or not. The fact of the matter is, he did kill her.
“I know he did kill her,” Love’s mother said according to PEOPLE. “I know he did. I can’t imagine anybody that could even do anything harmful to Yeardley. I don’t know what was in his head.”
Huguely was found liable in the wrongful death lawsuit. Today, George Huguely continues to serve out his prison sentence at Virginia’s Beaumont Correctional Center. And despite the tragedy of Yeardley Love’s murder, Huguely is scheduled to be released by the time he’s 42.
After reading about how George Huguely and the murder of Yeardley Love, see how Jodi Arias murdered her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008 after their relationship came to an explosive end. Or, discover the story of Betty Broderick, the jilted divorcée who killed her ex-husband and his new wife.