The first day of testimony in the George Huguely trial saw the mother and sister of the deceased Yeardley Love take the stand.
While they and other witnesses were occasionally moved to tears, there weren’t any long, warm descriptions of Love. Instead, their testimony covered topics ranging from how Love argued with Huguely before she died to how her belongings were stored after she died.
Her mother, Sharon Love, described her relationship with her daughter briefly, before going into the details of what happened to Yeardley Love’s belongings.
“I talked to Yeardley every day,” she said, “every single day of her life.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman kept a box of tissues handy through the afternoon.
Sharon Love said her daughter’s belongings were packed up and taken to the family home, where they were kept in her daughter’s bedroom until a police officer came to inspect them.
Sharon Love’s other daughter, Lexie Love, testifying on her 28th birthday, covered much of the same ground.
Both of Love’s roommates at the University of Virginia also testified. Perhaps the most dramatic testimony came as Love’s roommate and fellow lacrosse player Caity Whiteley recounted finding Love’s body.
Whiteley and a men’s tennis player had returned to Love’s apartment in an attempt to rouse her to socialize.
Love was in her bed, dressed as Whiteley had last seen her in nothing but the bottom half of her underwear, she said, but at first she didn’t see anything wrong. Love was facedown in her pillow, with her comforter halfway up her back.
“Her hair was all messed up and pulled to the side,” she said.
She got onto the bed and touched Love in an effort to wake her.
“I moved her hair, and then that’s when I noticed,” she said.
She saw blood on the sheet and pillow.
“There were cuts on her face and it was just messed up,” she said.
Love’s body was warm, but her feet were cold, her roommate testified.
During the testimony of fellow roommate and UVa women’s lacrosse player Kaitlin Duff, it came out that Love found out in late April that Huguely had been seen with another woman.
“[Love] seemed very upset,” Duff testified.
Love’s other roommate, Whiteley, testified that Huguely and Love’s on-again-off-again relationship had been “more rocky than usual” in the months before she died.
Whiteley recalled the moment when Love learned Huguely had been seen with another woman.
“She said she felt stupid,” Whiteley said, though she was told to limit her testimony to things she had been able to observe, rather than things Love told her.
She also talked about a conversation she had with Huguely after he was reportedly seen choking Love during a party. He told her he didn’t remember the incident, she said.
“He was angry that she was telling people that,” she said.
The woman who lived in the apartment below Love’s testified as well. She recounted hearing a bang from the next floor that was loud enough that she started a computer chat with a friend at the library. (In his opening statement, defense attorney Francis McQ. Lawrence dubbed her an “ear witness.”)
“I thought that maybe like a stereo set had fallen, or a bookshelf,” Anna Lehman said.
That was shortly before midnight, she said. Soon after she saw a man she described as looking “like a male student” walk down from the apartment above. She described attributes including a royal blue t-shirt and dark hair.
The defense does not dispute that Huguely was there that night.