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Lacrosse Player Who Beat College Girlfriend To Death Ordered To Pay $15 Million To Family

George Huguely V was convicted of beating fellow University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love to death in 2010 after a day of heavy drinking. Her family has now won a wrongful death suit they filed against him.

By Jax Miller
(L-R) Yeardley Love and George Huguely

A man convicted of murdering his college girlfriend was ordered by a jury to pay the victim’s family millions.

George Huguely V, 34, was convicted of killing fellow University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love, 22, in 2010, according to the Daily Progress. Just one day shy of the 12th anniversary of the student’s death, a Charlottesville Circuit Court jury ruled that Huguely would have to pay the victim’s loved ones $15 million in damages following a week-long civil trial.

The decision marked the end of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Love’s mother and sister.

Love’s family initially sought $29.5 million in compensatory damages and an additional $1 million in punitive damages, according to CBS News. Per the Progress, a jury found that Huguely qualified to pay punitive damages, but the amount was not agreed upon.

“$15 million is a very fair verdict, but it is not as important as the finding that the jury made that there was wanton, willful misconduct, and conscious disregard for the rights of Yeardley Love,” said the Loves’ attorney, Paul Bekman, “That is extremely important to the family, and it is extremely important to us.”

Huguely and Love, both lacrosse players at UVA, were in an on-again, off-again dating relationship. According to CBS News, Huguely kicked down Love’s bathroom door at her off-campus residence in the early morning hours of May 3, 2010, after a day of golf and binge-drinking, prosecutors alleged.

Love’s roommate and the roommate’s friend found the victim in her bed with her face down in a pillow, according to CBS News. Love was wearing the same clothes as the last time the friends had seen her.

“There were cuts on her face,” the roommate testified in the murder trial. “And it was just messed up.”

Huguely reportedly told investigators that he visited Love to talk and could remember that he “shook her a little” and told her to “chill out,” according to CBS News.

Huguely was convicted on charges of second-degree murder and sentenced to 24 years behind bars.

During the civil trial, Kevin Biniazan, who represents the Love family, detailed the events surrounding Love’s murder.

“As hard as she fought, he wasn’t backing down,” Biniazan stated. “If he didn’t stop when she told him not to come in and broke open the door, do he think he stopped when she told him no?”

Huguely’s attorney, Matthew Green, argued that his client should pay far less than what the Love family asked for in their lawsuit.

“We think the result of the jury granting the defense request not to award punitive damages shows that George got a fair trial 10 years ago, and justice was done at that time, and no additional punishment was warranted,” said Green, according to the Progress. “We said all along that George accepts responsibility for what happened, both criminally and civilly.”

The jury found that the $15 million payout should be distributed evenly between Love’s mother and sister.

It remains unclear how Huguely will be able to compensate the Love family financially. According to the Progress, the inmate is paid 55 cents per hour for his job in prison, and the Loves could be entitled to a third of his wages — which account for 18 cents of Huguely’s hourly income. If he worked 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year at that wage, it would take him 40,000 years to pay off the debt.

According to Baltimore’s WBAL-TV, Huguely was denied early release in October after several failed attempts to appeal his sentence. Prison records show he is scheduled to be released in 2030.