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Verdict in Lacrosse Murder Trial: Guilty

Aired February 22, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: All right. Thank you for that, Ryan. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from New York City. The verdict, as you`ve been hearing, is in. And it is guilty of second degree murder for lacrosse star George Huguely, who was on trial for killing his girlfriend, Yeardley Love, in cold blood despite the guilty verdict. Did he get special treatment? We are going to analyze this verdict with a team of experts, up next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight breaking news in the trial of a handsome young lacrosse player accused of murdering his former college sweetheart.

George Huguely admits he got into a violent fight with Yeardley Love but claims he didn`t kill her. So why did he kick in her door? And why did she look beaten to a pulp? Was he in a jealous rage?

Plus, will new surveillance video in the case of missing Baby Ayla blow the secrets in this case wide open? We`ll bring you the latest.

And the trial of a man accused of murdering a dad outside his kids` day care. Prosecutors say he was having a secret affair with the victim`s wife. Now she`s on the stand being grilled about their relationship. Were they secretly lovers? You`ll hear her bizarre statement.

Then jurors hear straight from accused murderer Jason Young about what he claims he was doing when his pregnant wife was killed. Do we believe him? We`ll talk you inside court.

And we`re taking your calls on all of these stories.

Plus, it`s the next chapter of my adventure in Dumpster diving. Check out what I`m cooking up this time.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: The handsome lacrosse player accused of kicking through the bedroom door of his college sweetheart in a drunken rage and beating her to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are on watch for a verdict in George Huguely`s murder trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, in 2010.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a pool of blood on her pillow and bruises on her face. Her right eye was swollen shut, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. But it didn`t take police long to zero in on a suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the late hours, Chapman says a drunken, angry George Huguely kicked in Love`s bedroom door and beat her to death.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news in the case of a college lacrosse star accused of murdering a co-ed. The verdict in seconds ago. George Huguely V was found guilty of second-degree murder. He could have gotten murder one.

The jury had this case for more than nine hours. They worked through lunch, determined to find a resolution to this very controversial case. He will face up to 40 years in prison. But he could get as low as five years. He`s already served 21 months, so he could walk in a very short period of time. And now the sentencing phase begins.

Here is new video of this handsome convict coming into court this morning to learn his fate. Huguely was found guilty of kicking the door of his girlfriend, Yeardley Love`s, bedroom in and beating her and leaving her to die. He shook her so violently her head hit the wall.

But his lawyer said it was all, oh, a big accident.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are confident that Ms. Love`s death was not intended, but an accident with a tragic outcome.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just released court sketches show a parade of evidence that was hauled into the jury room that they analyzed. Jurors did take this case very seriously, but was it the right verdict?

Remember, people, he kicked in the door. And then he had this confrontation with her. She ended up with an eye swollen shut. Battered. In a pool of her own blood. And then he takes off with her computer, which he tosses in the trash. And nevertheless, not guilty of robbery? Not guilty of burglary. Not guilty of breaking and entering. Did he get special treatment? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to "In Session`s" Jean Casarez, on the ground in Virginia.

Jean, you were in the courtroom. What was the mood the moment the verdict was read?

JEAN CASAREZ, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": It was packed. It was silent. There was stress. There was tension. I think if we heard heartbeats in that room of Yeardley Love`s family and George Huguely`s family, it would have filled the entire arena in that courtroom. But it was the judge that read out the verdict.

And all of a sudden you hear him say, "We, the jury, find George Huguely guilty of second-degree murder. And then a long list of not guilties. Not guilty of felony murder. Not guilty of robbery. Not guilty of burglary to commit larceny, burglary to commit assault and battery. But guilty of grand larceny.

Now he faces five to 40 years on the second-degree murder conviction. But on grand larceny -- it`s one to 20 years. So that could stack the years, Jane, and make this more time that he serves in prison than less.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m shocked by this verdict. I`m shocked because to me, this woman was murdered. And I know that premeditation, Holly Hughes, can occur, in a moment.

Now, when he kicks in that door and -- remember, less than a week earlier he had written in an e-mail to her, "I should have killed you" when he found out she was having a relationship with another lacrosse player from North Carolina. Remember, they had a fight the night before. Remember, their relationship had recently ended.

He goes to her house. He kicks in the door of her bedroom, goes in there. And when he leaves, with her laptop, which contained the incriminating e-mails, she has an eye swollen shut, severe facial bruising, bruising on her brain, blood pooling near her brain stem, which prosecutors said was caused by a wrenching of her head.

And this, they decided -- and we respect the jury`s verdict, but we do have not only the option but the obligation to analyze it. They determined that this is second-degree murder, not first-degree murder.

HOLLY HUGHES: Well, Jane, what I think they`re resting the verdict on is they can`t get past the fact that they don`t think he planned to kill her when he went there. He planned to have a confrontation. He want to confront her about something. Because obviously, he`s worked up enough to kick in that door that the jury actually got to see.

But what they couldn`t do was say in his mind, did he go there to kill her. That`s why they ended up with the second-degree murder charge.

What I would have liked to have seen is a felony murder charge based on the aggravated assault. Because clearly, when he`s angry enough to kick in the door, he`s not thinking, "I`m going to kick in the door and take her computer." He`s thinking, "I`m going to kick in this door and beat her, because she`s not letting me in. I`m going to show her who`s boss." So I really wish we had seen a felony murder charge with the underlying felony as aggravated assault. Think we might have gotten a different result.

But nobody believes he went there to kill her or he went there to steal here computer. But you`ve got that whole element of intent missing, which you need for every crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, again, premeditation can occur in the blink of an eye. And I dare say kicking in the door of somebody is not what you do when you want to have a conversation with somebody.

This murder case isn`t George Huguely V`s first brush with the law. He was once picked up for public intoxication, and a female officer had to Tase him to keep him down. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He became more aggressive. More physical towards me. Started calling me several other terms that I`m not going to state now.

Surprised that he was involved in another type of incident involving - - involving physical violence? No. An incident to this extent. Yes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, wasn`t there testimony that George Huguely once put Yeardley Love in a chokehold, and somebody had to break it up?

Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist, first of all, what do you make of this verdict?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, you know it`s an interesting verdict. I have to say I`m not really surprised. It sounds like they put this man into a batterer type of category. He and his girlfriend had a very volatile relationship.

It`s certainly sensible to think that he went in that night. He was angry. He was drunk. But maybe he wanted to get back together with her. Maybe he was hoping to win her over. It is a possibility. Because we know how some of these volatile, violent, young relationships can be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sorry. I don`t think that any woman is won over by a guy kicking her door in.

And I have to wonder if his pedigree -- his good looks, his prep school background, the "V" at the end of his name -- had in some way, a subliminal, if not conscious, impact on the jury. I mean, take this person and -- and give them another background.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Give him another background. Let`s say he`s a kid from the inner city, and he met this girl and he dated her, and he wasn`t going to the college. And he kicked in this door because he found out that Yeardley Love was dating some lacrosse player in North Carolina. And then beat her in the way the prosecutors say he beat her. And then stole her laptop computer and tossed it out.

What do you think, Pat Brown? Do you think the same verdict would have been rendered?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: I do think it might be different. Jane. And this is the reason. I think when you have these well-pedigreed type of fellows, when it looks like a nice guy, when people consider him a guy that would go to their college or their high school, one of their -- their own sons or their neighbor`s son.

They have a trouble understanding how a psychopath thinks. And this is what it is. I`m going to come to you. I`m going to make you an offer. And if you refuse that offer, you`re going to pay. The offer is you get back together with me. If you don`t, I`m going to take care of business and I`m going to be the last guy you`re ever with. This we see over and over and over again, which is why we warn women don`t go for that last little discussion.

And this girl didn`t even go for it. She was behind a locked door. So this was, in my mind, premeditated. He kicked that door in, because he wanted to get to her to do what he wanted to do to her. And he killed her. So I don`t understand why that isn`t, you know, in the jury`s mind that he wanted to harm her dearly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, OK, thank you, Pat Brown. I`m glad I`m not crazy. Because there`s something that doesn`t feel right about this verdict to me, anyway. This is my view. And we have a right to discuss it. That doesn`t mean I don`t respect the jury`s verdict. I do, but we do have to analyze it. Let`s go out to the phone lines.

Irene, South Carolina. Your question or thought on this verdict?

CALLER: Well, you had mentioned that you had thought that maybe, because he was privileged, that they were able to buy this kind of verdict. I agree that our judicial system is set up that you buy the best lawyer you can.

There are some -- say, if you get into trouble and you have -- say you killed somebody. You go to a lawyer. And he says, "It`s going to cost you $100,000 for me to do the case." You haven`t got the money, there`s not a prayer. Because you`ll have to get somebody that, that costs less. And of course, because they`re not as knowledgeable, more than likely, or just fresh out of college, you have this kind of system going on all the time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. I agree. I have seen it many, times, where people who have public defendants get convicted the most serious, serious count. And people who have great lawyers, don`t.

And I`ll tell you one other thing. I think from now on in our criminal justice system, everybody should wear the same outfit when they are on trial. No button-down shirts and blazers for some defendants and prison stripes for others. Let`s get everybody in a uniform, because justice is supposed to be blind.

I do think, unfortunately, in America today, justice has 20/20 vision. In fact I think it`s had Lasik surgery.

More on this breaking news in a moment: George Huguely found guilty of second-degree murder. Five to 40 years. What is he going to get? Sentencing phase underway. We`re talking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Sentencing phase soon under way: 1-877-586-7297.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us how you think she died, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s all I can tell you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not blunt force trauma?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s all I can tell you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. The defense claimed, oh no, she suffocated. That it was positional asphyxiation. But before that positional asphyxiation, she was beaten to a pulp by her former boyfriend, who had sent her an e-mail less than a week earlier, saying, "I should have killed you."

Nevertheless, George Huguely V found not guilty of first-degree murder; not guilty of robbery, even though he stole her laptop; not guilty of burglary in the nighttime; not guilty of breaking and entering, even though he kicked in the door to get to where she was; not guilty of breaking and entering to commit larceny; not guilty of breaking and entering to commit assault and battery.

No, he was found guilty of second-degree murder and grand larceny. He could get as little as five years. And he`s already served 21 months waiting behind bars for this moment. So he could get out in a couple years, basically.

Jean Casarez, you`re there on the ground now. The sentencing phase what is that going to be like? Because it seems a little odd that they -- you say they`ve already begun the sentencing phase at 7:17 in the evening?

CASAREZ: I think they have started it already. That`s why I think this will get wrapped up tonight. It may go late. This is a mini trial, and both sides can put on opening statements. It is before the jury. The jury sentences in Virginia for crimes such as this. And then the prosecution can put on witnesses. Victim impact statements of Yeardley Love`s mother and her sister is what the jury most likely will hear.

And then the defense can put on mitigating witnesses. George Huguely`s mother, his father, and another young relative have not been in the trial at all, because they will be witnesses in this mitigating part.

They can also bring on a pastor, or they can bring on teachers from his past. They could bring on maybe his lacrosse coach. But the defense has to be very, very careful. Because if they open the door to prior bad acts of George Huguely, then the prosecution can have a rebuttal case.

And I think they have waiting in the wings tonight, the officer that we just heard from on your show, Jane, that arrested him for public intoxication and resisting arrest in `08 in Lexington, Virginia. He was convicted of those crimes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, the defense actually tried to paint this beautiful young woman who died, Yeardley Love, as oh, just as volatile as the guy who killed her. They`ve been playing that angle from the start. Listen to what cops said very early on in this case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was reported at the time as a possible alcohol overdose. Patrol officers arrived on the scene. It was quickly apparent to them that this young lady was the victim of something far worse.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pat Brown, this young woman apparently had alcohol and Adderall in her system. So what? He was drunk.

BROWN: Yes, well, you know, I really don`t care what she had in her system. The concept that it`s OK to beat someone the way he beat someone. I don`t even know where this is coming from today. Because we all, remember the days when we weren`t supposed to hit a woman? Apparently now you can beat her to death and that`s an excuse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. More on the other side. Your calls.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More lacrosse verdict in a second. But first, here`s your "Viral Video of the Day."






VELEZ-MITCHELL: The handsome lacrosse player accused of kicking through the bedroom door of his college sweetheart in a drunken rage and beating her to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are on watch for a verdict in George Huguely`s murder trial. He is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, in 2010.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a pool of blood on her pillow and bruises on her face. Her right eye was swollen shut, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. But it didn`t take police long to zero in on a suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the late hours, Chapman says a drunk and angry George Huguely kicked in Love`s bedroom door and beat her to death.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Huguely V, a star lacrosse player at the University of Virginia, there he is back at the time of his arrest. Tonight, found guilty of second-degree murder. But it is considered a victory for the defense, because he was found not guilty of first-degree murder.

And he was also found not guilty of burglary in the night time, breaking and entering, of breaking and entering to commit larceny. Not guilty of robbery, not guilty of breaking and entering to commit assault and battery. He was found guilty of grand larceny.

Again, this is a man who kicked in the door to his former girlfriend`s room, went in there, had a very violent physical confrontation with her that left her in a pool of blood and stole her laptop.

Straight out to the phone lines. Jesse, Ohio. Your question or thought, Jesse.

CALLER: Yes, Jane, it`s an honor to hear you and be able to talk to you. We watch you all the time.


CALLER: My deal is that I feel the judicial system has let us down. You know, it`s a thing that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Say that again -- the judicial system what?

CALLER: The judicial system has let us down again.


CALLER: The simple thing, you know. It just shows us that -- in old school, the money talks, and the B.S. walks. Straight out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very well put. Very well put, Jesse, Ohio.

Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney. We have more people locked up in prison than any other country in the word the we have as many people locked up in U.S. prisons as the entire population of Macedonia. Many of those people are serving decades for nonviolent offenses like dealing crack, for example.

We`ve done that here on our show. We`ve shown a couple of tablespoons of crack have gotten people who have families, who have children, put behind bars for decades.

Now this guy, OK, could walk in a couple of years. Found guilty of second-degree murder. Let me read the definition of second-degree murder. A non-premeditated killing resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Not premeditated.

Holly Hughes, is it me, is it Pat Brown, is it our callers or is something wrong with our justice system?

HUGHES: Well, the disparity you`re talking about in sentencing, what`s wrong, if you will, is that you don`t have uniform sentencing across the board. You don`t even see it within the same state.

I practice in Georgia, but from county to county, it varies hugely. You may get probation in one county. For the exact same offense, with the exact same record, you might get 20 years in another county. That`s not an exaggeration, Jane. So until you get a uniformity that says you must, you know...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight: George Huguely V, the prep school graduate, lacrosse star, University of Virginia who admits he was there that night, with his former girlfriend who had broken up with him recently in order to date a lacrosse player from North Carolina. He admits that he kicked in her door. And that they had a confrontation where he shook her and her head hit the wall. And this young woman, we`re going to show you video of him obviously and this young woman -- her eye was swollen shut.

Ok, this is his photo when he was arrested. He has since spent 21 months behind bars before tonight`s verdict came in just a couple minutes ago. Guilty: second degree murder. But, there is a beautiful young lady that was dead after the confrontation with him. And she also, a lacrosse star, I think what we are talking about tonight -- we want to talk your calls, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-JVM-SAYS -- is why didn`t he get first degree murder when a week earlier he had sent her an e-mail when he found out that she was dating another lacrosse player from North Carolina and he said "I should have killed you."

And then he proceed to go to her home, where she was living, and kick in the door to her bedroom. And have a confrontation with her where he shook her so violently her head hit the wall. Her eye was swollen shut. She had severe facial bruises, bruises on her brain, blood pooling near her brain stem. Prosecutors say all that was caused by a wrenching of her head.

There is the door. A sketch of the door that the jury saw before they came back and said, "This was not premeditated." This was not premeditated -- really? And then additionally, not guilty, not guilty of robbery even though he took her cell phone -- I mean excuse me -- her laptop that had the incriminating e-mail and threw it in the trash. Not guilty: burglary in the night time. Not guilty: breaking and entering. Not guilty: breaking and entering to commit larceny. Not guilty: breaking and entering to commit assault and battery.

Jean Casarez, I want to go out to you, if you are still there -- ok she was on the ground. She has been there and she`s obviously running around trying to get interview with, with folks because this is breaking news.

But, Dr. Robi Ludwig, we are talking about the two-tier criminal justice system in our country where it seems there is one set of rules for the privileged and another set of rules for everyone else. He is a son of privilege. He has a V after his name.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He went to exclusive prep schools. He is at the -- he`s from a very upscale, privileged family, Washington area family. And he goes in there -- he goes into court with his blazer and his buttoned- down shirt. He could be out in presumably three years. They`re in the sentencing phase now. Do you see anything -- does it give you a queasy feeling in your stomach?

LUDWIG: I think what is unsettling is here you have a white, good- looking, wealthy male. When I heard his defense attorney talk, I knew that -- you know he had a good chance of getting a lesser sentence. He clearly had a very well-adept defense attorney who brought up the idea of alcoholism and him drinking and that somehow interfered with him being able to form intent. But also he is good-looking and there is a psychology of appearance as well.

You talked about this. He looked very preppy. I think it is very hard for us to reconcile this notion that somebody who is good-looking, who has an innocent cherubic look could actually be murderous. We don`t like to think along those lines because it interferes with our ability to trust our instincts. If we can`t trust somebody who appears good looking and innocent, then who can we trust?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then I think our instincts have gone awry. I really do.

LUDWIG: Yes, I absolutely agree with you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Remember, this guy has a history of violence. In 2008, he was arrested for public intoxication. And they had to taser him.

In another instance he had the girl who ultimately died, Yeardley Love, in a chokehold and somebody got him off her. They had many, many arguments.

LUDWIG: Well that would show that he has an anger management problem; perhaps he as very volatile reaction to alcohol being in his system.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me say this, most people who commit crimes -- correct me if I`m wrong, Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney -- most people who commit crimes have alcohol or drug problems. I`m absolutely convinced of that. All the stories that I`ve covered over 30 years, most of them, are messed up. Not only psychologically; they have anger problems, they have alcohol problems, they have drug problems.

People who are well-balanced and don`t have addiction and substance abuse don`t go out generally kicking somebody`s door down and beating them.

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That is absolutely true, Jane. You find that in the majority of crimes. I can`t give you a percentage. I don`t want it to be wrong. I can`t say 90 percent. But having prosecuted in a major metropolitan city in homicide unit, you know, being there ten years now doing defense work on the other side. A vast majority of what we see is they`re under the influence of something; whether it is a drug, whether it is alcohol. Or, in the alternative, they do have a huge anger management problem and they cannot figure out a way to positively channel that and to function. So they will lash out. They will assault. They will kick in doors to get their way when they`re not getting what they want.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news -- everybody who commit is a violent crime has an anger management problem, period. End of story. If they didn`t have an anger management problem they wouldn`t commit a violent crime. They would have a peaceful alternative. They would know about conflict resolution. They would admit maybe they`re powerless over the decision of a girl to date someone else.

So everyone has this problem who commits a crime. Why do some people get the benefit of the doubt and others don`t.

I want to go out to the phone lines. Linda, Alabama. Your question or thought, Linda.

LINDA, ALABAMA ((via telephone): Yes, I just want to say that I think the jurors that were picked were well-educated and that they thought this through. I don`t think money played in this. Because if you look at Casey Anthony, they dressed her up, had her looking like a little princess every day in court and she got off on it. And this, I don`t think this had anything to do with money and his class.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ok. Linda, Alabama. I think that is an interesting viewpoint. That`s why we are taking the callers. We all can have different perspectives on this.

I want to go out to Susan Constantine, who is a body language expert, analyzed many trials -- and speaking of the Casey Anthony case, you, and I, Susan, were sitting there watching that case go down in the courtroom together. What do you think was a factor in this, what most of our experts here are saying is a relatively lenient verdict: second degree murder as opposed to first degree premeditated murder and not guilty on a lot of lesser charges, all but one in fact. Not guilty of robbery and breaking and entering, burglary, et cetera, et cetera. What do you think was at play here?

Susan Constantine, body language expert. Well, Jane, you know, you`re right. When we sat there in the Casey Anthony trial, we looked down at Casey every single day and we saw this kind of girlish look and the way she was dressed every single day was a planned -- that was a plan. Just like this gentleman that was just found guilty of second, second degree murder. And, so anyway, our image really plays a huge part in it.

I do a lot of witness preparation. So I meet the client right from the very beginning. The first thing that I address is their appearance; not only his appearance but the people behind him, the family members, you know. And what they did is they had him grow his hair out a little bit. It`s exactly what I would have recommended. Let the hair grow out a little bit. Don`t wear the skinhead look, dressing up like a college boy.

And I`ve got to tell you 93 percent of how we communicate is nonverbal. The first impression is a lasting impression of guilt or innocence; from the minute they looked at him does he look guilty or innocent. When they looked at this nice college boy they thought that there was some maybe hope for him. There is possibility he would go to college because he looked the part so that there was hope there. And you know what; they were sensitive to that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And when we get back to Casey Anthony, no she was not from a wealthy family. But because of the notoriety of the case she had the kind of defense dream team that a normally wealthy person would have. Even though they were mostly working pro bono for the publicity, she got a massive defense team so big that they actually had to have two tables instead of the normal one table.

So I think when, our caller said look at Casey Anthony she wasn`t wealthy. But the way she worked in the criminal justice system was as if she was a wealthy person.

Listen to this from the president of the University of Virginia where both the victim and the now-convicted murderer went to school.


JOHN CASTEEN, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: My hope for Yeardley and for you is that her dying inspires an anger, a sense of outrage, a determination that you will speak up for yourself that you will act when you see or hear or hear about abuse or violence.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yeardley Love, your family -- my heart goes out to the family of this poor woman who lost her life. Our condolences and we hope that you do get justice in the sentencing phase.

More in a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Working around the office, I just got to keep healthy snacks around to keep my energy up but I don`t eat sugar. Here are some things I have come up with. Date rolls, simply dates with a little coconut on them, delicious. Now these guys are fantastic: almonds, coconuts, and let`s see, vanilla. And these are my personal favorite. They`re coconut with cashews and birch tree sweetener and vanilla bean. So good. Yes. I feel like super woman.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: A handsome lacrosse player accused of kicking through the bedroom door of his college sweetheart in a drunken rage and beating her to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are on watch for a verdict in George Huguely`s murder trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley love in 2010.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a pool of blood on her pillow and bruises on her face. Her right eye was swollen shut and she was pronounced dead at the scene. But it didn`t take police long to zero in on a suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the late hours, Chapman says a drunk and angry George Huguely kicked in Love`s bedroom door and beat her to death.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Huguely, guilty, second degree murder which means the jury decided he did not premeditate the killing of Yeardley Love even though she was very, very severely beaten, even though he kicked her door in. She had an eye that was swollen shut, severe facial bruising, bruising on her brain, blood pooling near her brain stem. The list goes on and on.

So now that he is convicted of second degree murder the jury is in the deliberation phase in terms of -- sentencing. They`re in the sentencing phase. And he could get between 5 and 40 years for second degree murder.

Now let`s take a look back to before this vicious crime was committed. Here is footage of George Huguely V after a lacrosse game, this from ABC.


GEORGE HUGUELY, GUILTY OF SECOND DEGREE MURDER: It`s more important that we won as a team today. We tried really hard to win.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, he clearly has a drinking problem. His own defense attorney said that drinking destroyed his life. He had a problem in 2008. He was arrested for public intoxication and had to be tased. He was also drinking the night of this horror. And he had previously had the same woman who ultimately died in a chokehold and had to be taken off.

I want to go back to Jean Casarez who is there on the ground. What is the reaction? You`ve had a couple minutes to walk around and get a reaction to this verdict. What is the reaction on the ground?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": I think everybody is focused on the sentencing phase. They`re not even talking about the verdict now because we are deep into the sentencing phase. And the Commonwealth`s attorney is arguing right now to the jury, for them to recommend the maximum sentence.

And Jane, the Commonwealth`s attorney has re-read this letter that George Huguely wrote to Yeardley. It was found in her desk after her body was found. And it is where he apologizes for being so drunk. He can`t believe that he is ruining his life and he feels horrible. And he says that he will never do anything like this again to her.

The Commonwealth goes on to say George Huguely can lead a very productive life in prison. That he can help other inmates because of the education that he has that others do not. That he will get to see his family. That he will get to know what is happening in his country and in his community.

And Yeardley Love had all of that taken from her. That she was at an age where her future was right before her and her future was and is no more because of George Huguely. And they go on to say that somebody`s little girl went to bed that night and never woke up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is this what a young woman`s life is worth in America today -- five to 40 years? Give me your thoughts, Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist. We have been talking in the break about this young man. Clearly suffers from a bad case of arrogance.

Is this going to dissuade him from his arrogant entitled attitude toward life? Or is this going to say, hey, you know what, stay right attitude?

LUDWIG: Yes. I mean here`s the problem. This is a very entitled guy who is extremely problematic. He, he is basically a batterer and so, if he spends a short time in prison. The danger is he can do this again to another woman. There is no reason to think why he would be able to stop himself in the future. And that`s the danger in this case with George Huguely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And especially being a good-looking guy his ability to get other women.

LUDWIG: You know how women are with good looking guys.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. So he is not going to have trouble meeting another woman.

LUDWIG: He`s not going to have any trouble meeting other women and they can be very charming at the beginning these, you know, seductive, violent abusive men. It is a cycle. And what happens is the cycle gets out of hand and that`s when these women are in danger.

So he is at risk of harming somebody else. That is the difficulty here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, we are taking your calls on the other side. Kim in Kentucky, hang on. Just a quick break and we`re going to hear your thoughts because we want to know what the folks out there think about this verdict. Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More lacrosse murder case in a moment but first I think we all deserve a laugh break. Check it out.





VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is how the lacrosse verdict came down just over an hour ago here on HLN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right folks, this just in. We`ve just found out George Huguely has been found guilty of second degree murder. Guilty - - second degree murder. The prosecution in this case, seeking first degree murder, he has been found guilty of second.

Let me till you essentially what that is -- that the defendant killed Yeardley Love and that he did it with malice but not with that level of intent the prosecutors were seeking here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the prosecutor said this woman wouldn`t lie willingly face down in a pool of blood. The evidence is Yeardley was effectively disabled as she lay on the bed for two hours. She didn`t move. She couldn`t. This poor woman died a slow death.

So you got to wonder -- I don`t mean to be flip here. I don`t mean to be flip. But you got to wonder is there points given to -- to leave some somebody to die as opposed to killing them outright? Kim, Kentucky, your question your thought. Kim, Kentucky.

KIM, KENTUCKY: The girl died in vain and he should have gotten more time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pat Brown, criminal profiler, you have been listening to all of this. I want to read a little bit more from what the prosecutor said. Can you imagine waking up from sleep to the sound and fury of George Huguely. There`s not a scintilla of evidence that she has the slightest suspicion he is coming over. In your imagination you could see she is recoiling from him as he approaches the bed.

Yeardley couldn`t scream. Was his hand over her mouth? Was her face being shoved into the floor? The mark on her right buttock, is that a kick? She was silenced early on, her head in his grip or her head against the floor. She is trying to get away from him. She`s trying to get away from this man. She was effectively incapacitated right then and there. Yes? Pat Brown.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Cold-blooded, very, very cold-blooded homicide. We said the same thing with Joran Van Der Sloot. He did -- did he premeditate those or when he went with those women did he decide to kill them when they enraged him? That is first degree murder in my opinion.

I think the problem is when you throw alcohol in the mix people use alcohol as an excuse. But I`ll bet you, there`s a ton of people -- and you can probably verify this because you have familiarity -- there are a ton of people who drink in their lives and do drugs and they never harm anybody. Because you have to have a personality disorder before you can do that.

So if you are not sick as far as psychologically disturbed, you are not going to kill people when you are drinking. You may -- you may do other things but not that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nobody -- nobody forced alcohol down his throat.

BROWN: That`s true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He knew that he had a drinking problem. I say this as a recovering alcoholic myself with 16, hopefully, April 1, 17 years of sobriety. He had a history that showed that he became violent and out of control. 2008 arrested for public intoxication. He had to be tased.

If that doesn`t make you hit bottom then what does? I honestly don`t think that drinking and getting drunk is an excuse for anything. Holly Hughes, I`m going to give you the last ten second here.

HUGHES: You are right, Jane. And that`s what is wrong with the law in Virginia because the law in Virginia unlike many states says that voluntary intoxication is a defense to first degree murder, which is crazy. All that means is go get liquored up if you want to kill somebody because you can use it as an excuse to get away with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, on the other side of the break I`m going to give you my final thoughts and we`re going to continue the conversation on Facebook.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, right after the show in a couple of seconds, I`m going to continue a live chat conversation about this verdict. And just go to my Facebook page, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and we can continue the conversation. It is an important, important subject.

Jean Casarez breaking news, what can you tell us?

CASAREZ: The jury has just started to deliberate in the sentencing phase. The defense put up no mitigating witnesses. They were going to put up his mother and his father. But that could open the door to have the 2008 conviction come in. All the jury heard from, was Lexy Love and Sharon Love, the mother and sister of Yeardley. And they cried as they gave the victim impact statements.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a very tragic case. I remember when Deborah Lafave was arrested, and she was the teacher, right, she was accused of having sex with a kid. And they said she was too pretty for prison. That`s wrong.