Jury: Time for Yeardley Love's Killer to Pay Up

George Huguely must pay $15M to mom, sister of slain UVA lacrosse player in wrongful death case
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2022 6:26 AM CDT
Family of Slain UVA Lacrosse Player Gets $15M
In a March 8, 2009, photo, University of Virginia women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love works with the ball in Charlottesville, Va.   (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Andrew Shurtleff, File)

Sharon Love had already seen her daughter's killer put behind bars for more than two decades. On Monday, the mother of murdered University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love received financial compensation as well. The Daily Progress reports that Sharon Love and her other daughter, Lexie Love Hodges, were awarded $15 million—$7.5 million each—by a jury in a wrongful-death civil case against the man who killed Yeardley Love: her on-again, off-again boyfriend and fellow UVA student George Huguely. Love was found dead in her apartment in May 2010, right before she and Huguely were set to graduate. He was convicted of second-degree murder, with his criminal trial laying out details of his heavy drinking and violent behavior leading up to the killing.

The Love family had sought $29.5 million in compensatory damages, plus $1 million in punitive damages, which weren't awarded. Emotions ran high over the past week during family testimony in the case, per WVIR. On Thursday, a teary Sharon Love took the stand in Charlottesville Circuit Court, describing the moment she found out her daughter was dead from police, explaining she'd initially thought Love had been killed in a car accident. Love's sister and brother-in-law also testified, with the former noting her first thoughts upon getting the call about Love's death were: "That's it? I'll never see her again?" Her husband told the court there was "nonstop bawling" in the days after that call.

Both women broke down as well when the verdict was read. Per the Progress, Love attorney Paul Bekman noted that "$15 million is a very fair verdict, but it is not as important as the finding ... that there was wanton, willful misconduct and conscious disregard for the rights of Yeardley Love. That is extremely important to the family." Because the jury found Huguely had acted in such a manner, he won't be able to have the judgment dismissed by a bankruptcy court, reports the AP. Green notes the Love family may be able to garnish a third of his 55-cent-an-hour wages at the prison where he's serving out his sentence, per the Progress. Huguely attorney Matthew Green—who'd argued that punitive damages weren't warranted, as justice had been served through the 23-year prison sentence that Huguely is nearly halfway through serving—says his client won't appeal the verdict. (Read more Yeardley Love stories.)

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