The jurors in the trial of accused murderer George Huguely V will see an hour-long video recording today of Huguely's statements to police following the discovery of ex-girlfriend and classmate Yeardley Love's death.
The court has been highly sensitive to privacy throughout the trial, showing graphic photos of Love's lifeless body only to jurors and not to the media or the public present in the courtroom. It is expected that the video will also only be shown to the jury.
Huguely, 24, is charged with first degree murder as well as five other charges in the death of his ex-girlfriend and University of Virginia classmate.
Love, 22, was a star lacrosse player at the school and a senior just weeks away from graduation. Huguely was also a lacrosse player for the school's nationally ranked team.
In his opening statements earlier this week, defense attorney Francis McQ. Lawrence said that while being questioned by police, a shocked Huguely rocked back and forth with his head between his knees.
According to Lawrence, Huguely was saying, "She is not dead. I didn't. I didn't. I didn't?I never did anything that could do that to her. I refuse to believe she is dead because nothing that happened last night could've killed her."
Prosecutors allege that an enraged Huguely allegedly kicked through the door of Love's bedroom the night she died and shook her, banging her head against the wall, before leaving her bleeding. A bloody Love was later found face-down on her bed by a roommate. Her face was covered in scrapes and bruises, according to a police warrant, and her right eye was swollen shut.
The defense has claimed that Love's death was caused by a fatal combination of Adderall and alcohol that could have stopped her heart and that jurors should consider Huguely's role in her death as involuntary manslaughter at the most.
The first prosecution witness on the stand today was Dr. Renu Virmani, a renowned cardiovascular pathologist. Virmani said she was obtained by the medical examiner to see if she could "find related cause of death in [Love's] heart."
"I came to the conclusion that nothing was wrong with her heart that caused her death," Virmani testified.
When asked if a heart problem could have led to Love's brain hemorrhaging, Virmani said, "I have seen at least 300 hearts a year for over 30 years and that's not possible."
Virmani was the 26th witness for the prosecution in a trial that has been filled with drama and intimate revelations about Huguely and Love's relationship.
On Thursday, the man whose on-and-off relationship with Love allegedly infuriated Huguely V testified that he once witnessed Huguely trapping a hysterical Love in a violent choke hold.
Michael Burns, a University of North Carolina lacrosse player, told jurors that in February 2010, he heard cries of "Help me, help me," coming from Love's bedroom and went in to find Huguely throttling Love.
"I saw George's hands around Yeardley's neck," Burns said. Prosecutor Warner "Dave" Chapman had Burns stand up in court and demonstrate what he saw.
Huguely released her and turned to the wall as Love ran out of the room. Burns said that she was crying hysterically and said to him, "Thank you so much. I couldn't breathe."
Burns told the court that although he and Love were not dating, they had "hooked up" a few times over the course of their college years, including the night he walked in on the choke hold. The last time they had been together was April 25, 2010. Love was found dead on May 3.
The relationship between Burns and Love angered Huguely who allegedly said in an e-mail to Love days before her death, "When I found out about Mike Burns, I should have killed you."
George Huguely Murder Trial Nears End of First Week
On Thursday, Dr. Danny Mistry, the primary care physician for UVA sports teams, told the court that Love was an athlete in excellent shape.
When the doctor was asked if there was any medical reason Love should have passed away on May 3, 2010, he said, "No...She was in very good shape," Mistry said.
Earlier in the trial, jurors saw photos of Love's lifeless body, drawing sobs from her family in the courtroom while Huguely kept his head down.
Charlottesville Police Officer K.W. Blackwell was one of the first responders to arrive at Love's room and find her on the floor. The officer was responding to a 911 call for a possible alcohol overdose.
"I realized it was nowhere near the report that came in," Blackwell said.
"Her right eye was swollen shut?she had a black eye," Blackwell told the court. "There was dried blood around her mouth and nose."