Priest urges mourners in Virginia pray for both lacrosse killing victim and suspect

By Hank Kurz Jr., AP
Friday, May 7, 2010

Priest asks for prayers for Va. lacrosse suspect

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Mourners attending a Roman Catholic Mass honoring slain Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love were urged Friday to also pray for the player on the men’s team who’s accused of beating her to death.

Father Joseph Scordo told his audience of about 100 at the campus chapel that they should treat even enemies with love and forgiveness. Love’s body was found early Monday in her off-campus apartment.

“We pray for one of our own, one of our own Catholic Christians that met an untimely death a few days ago,” Scordo told the students, faculty and others gathered to mourn. “And we give of our time and our efforts and our attention to come here to pray together for the happy repose of her soul. We come, as revolutionary as it sounds, we come even here today to pray for George (Huguely).”

Huguely, 22, was arrested hours after Love’s body was found and charged with murder.

Love’s family also received visitors at a funeral home in Maryland on Friday, and a private ceremony in Maryland was scheduled the next day for her burial.

After the Virginia service, Scordo said it is important to remember that both families are hurting.

“It’s not something that someone wants to talk about with any kind of mercy or compassion, but the past few days I’ve been thinking about his family, how awful it must be for his family as well as for Yeardley’s family,” he said after the small chapel had cleared.

“They lost a daughter, for but all intents and purposes, the Huguely family has lost a son because if he’s convicted of the crime, his life is done. It’s finished.”

In Towson, Md., the Love family received visitors to viewings at the Ruck Funeral Home. An afternoon gathering was restricted to family and friends, and a stream of attendees included several members of the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team, one carrying a lacrosse stick.

A spokesman for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said he is scheduled to meet privately with University of Virginia president John Casteen next week. Casteen has sought the meeting to discuss his idea of requiring police to report off-campus arrests of students to their schools.

Since Monday, reports of Huguely’s previous legal trouble have surfaced. Police in Lexington said he resisted arrest for public intoxication in 2008, threatened the female officer and was subdued with the help of a stun gun.

Casteen and the school’s athletic director have said they didn’t know about the arrest and questioned why they weren’t notified.

Also Friday, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said his department is investigating reports that Huguely and Love had been involved in previous altercations.

Contributing to this report were AP Sports Writer David Ginsburg in Towson, Md. and Associated Press Writer Michael Felberbaum.

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