Records: Red-stained items seized from Va victim’s home, passport from defendant’s pocket

By Larry Odell, AP
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blood flowed from lacrosse slaying victim’s nose

RICHMOND, Va. — Blood began flowing from the nose of a University of Virginia women’s lacrosse player during the fight with her accused killer before he pushed her onto a bed and left her apartment, according to search warrants unsealed Thursday.

The new documents also said police seized red-stained bedding and towels from the apartment of victim Yeardley Love and a passport from the shorts pocket of George Huguely, the player from the men’s team accused of killing her.

However, a T-shirt that might have had trace evidence was not collected by police during an initial search of Love’s apartment and apparently was gone when police returned to look for it a few days later.

Huguely of Chevy Chase, Md., has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond. He told police that he kicked in Love’s bedroom door, shook her and her head hit a wall several times, according to previously released documents.

In the new documents, a police detective said Huguely “stated that at one point during the altercation he saw blood coming from Yeardley Love’s nose.” Huguely said he pushed Love onto her bed and left, the document says.

Huguely’s lawyer has said the death was an accident. The lawyer, Francis Lawrence, did not immediately return a phone message.

The new details were included in several pages of search warrant records and affidavits that a Charlottesville Circuit Court judge ordered unsealed after a legal challenge by four news organizations: The Associated Press, the Daily Progress, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Washington Post.

In one of the documents, Huguely told police Love was wearing a black T-shirt during their confrontation and he believes she was still wearing it when he left her apartment. Witnesses told police the senior from Cockeysville, Md., was wearing only underwear when they found her. Crime scene photographs showed a black T-shirt on the floor near Love’s body.

Police did not initially collect the shirt, and documents show it was not found in a subsequent search.

In addition to the stained bedding and towels, police seized hairs, the damaged bedroom door, swabs of red stains, a purse, electronics and a note in a desk drawer at Love’s apartment.

A letter addressed to Love was confiscated at Huguely’s home, and at least two handwritten notes were seized along with a camera and a cell phone during a search of the Chevrolet Tahoe he was driving. The contents of the notes and the letter were not among the released materials. Huguely told police he and Yeardley had been involved in a relationship that had ended.

Authorities also took scrapings from under Huguely’s fingernails and hair samples from his head and legs. They used cotton swabs to collect cells from inside Huguely’s cheeks for DNA samples, the records show, and seized various items of clothing — including a red-stained lacrosse T-shirt and the shorts with his passport and keys to the Tahoe in the pockets.

Other items taken from Huguely’s home include rugs, a shower curtain, a notebook and two laptop computers. Police said Huguely told them he took a computer from Love’s apartment, and they recovered it after he told them where they could find it. Huguely told police he and Love had exchanged e-mail messages shortly before he went to her apartment.

Internet and cell phone records that were the subject of a separate search warrant remain sealed.

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