In May 2010, authorities were called to an apartment in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the start of a high-profile murder investigation. Student-athlete Yardley Love was found unresponsive and eventually declared dead, with all signs pointing to her own murder. The Crime Junkie Podcast’s ‘MURDERED: Yeardley Love’ recounts how the authorities were directed at her repeat boyfriend and what happened in the aftermath. So, if you’re curious about the same thing, we’ve got you covered.
How did Yardley Love die?
Yeardley Love was born in July 1987 in Baltimore, Maryland. The young woman lost her father at a young age and was close to her mother and sister. While in high school at Notre Dame Prep in Maryland, Yardley played cross and field hockey, later attending the University of Virginia. There, she majored in political science and majored in Spanish, in addition to being part of the lacrosse team.
At the time of the accident, Yeardley was living in an apartment with two roommates. At about 2:15 a.m. on May 3, 2010, a roommate, Caitlyn Whiteley, came home to find a hole in the door of Yardley’s bedroom. Inside, the 22-year-old was found face down on a pillow with a pool of blood. Caitlin immediately called 911, and the authorities tried to revive Yeardley but it was too late. She had a large bruise on the right side of her head as well as more scrapes and bruises on her chin. Furthermore, there were wounds on her legs and arms.
Who killed Yardley Love?
Initial investigation revealed that Yeardley had gone out with Kaitlyn on 2 May; They were eating and drinking. The duo returned at around 10 p.m. But while Kaitlyn went out again, Yeardley decided to call it a night and went to bed. A few hours later, she was found dead. Police then learned that Yeardley had recently ended her relationship with George Hugoli, a University of Virginia lacrosse player.
The couple were together for about two years, and their relationship was often volatile. At the time, George had trouble with excessive drinking, and his friends stated that Yeardley was not happy about it, which eventually led to their breakup. George was also suffering from his anger. He once attacked a teammate for being close to Yeardley, and in February 2010, he pinned her before the others dragged him away.
Furthermore, in the past, George has been arrested for reckless driving, possession of alcohol when he was a minor, and resisting arrest. Therefore, the police brought him to the police station for further questioning. George told the police that they broke up and exchanged emails. In these emails, Yeardley apologized to him, but George responded angrily, insulting her and accusing her of having sex with someone else just to hurt him.
Authorities also learned that George had been drinking heavily in the lead up to the accident. He explained going to the Yeardley house sometime after 11 p.m. on May 2, 2010. George then admitted kicking her in the door and getting into an altercation where he shook her violently, banging her head against the wall. Then, George claimed that he left with Yeardley’s laptop which he later dumped in a trash can. He looked surprised when the police told him that Yeardley was dead.
At George’s trial, the defense claimed that Yeardley may have died due to inadequate blood flow to her brain, possibly due to the consumption of alcohol and Adderall. However, prosecutors testified that the bleeding around her brain was a sign of severe trauma. Furthermore, Yeardley’s blood was found under George’s fingernails, and scraps of his hands indicate that he was at the crime scene.
Further testimony also highlighted George’s violent outbursts and excessive drinking. In the end, the jury found George guilty of Yardley’s murder, and he was subsequently sentenced to more than two decades in prison. Then, in May 2022, the Yerdley family’s wrongful death lawsuit with George ended liability for her death. As a result, he was ordered to pay $15 million in compensation.
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