Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old University of Virginia lacrosse player, was killed weeks before her graduation

By Jeff Truesdell
July 25, 2019 03:52 PM

Told by a detective that his college ex-girlfriend is dead from a beating in her apartment, her killer begins to break down.

“No way. No way. No way. No way. No way,” says George Huguely V in the video of his interrogation about the murder of 22-year-old Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia lacrosse player just weeks shy of graduating in May 2010.

“And you were there — this happened when you were there,” the officer tells him. “I need — now’s the time to man up, George, tell me what happened.”

“I told you what happened,” Huguely protests, repeating the phrase five times with his back against the wall in a corner of the tiny white room.

“How did it get out of control?,” asks the officer.

“It didn’t,” Huguely insists. “I told you what happened. It didn’t get out of control.”

Then he says, as if trying to make it true: “She’s not dead. She’s not dead.”

The fatal May 3, 2010 attack on Love in her off-campus Charlottesville apartment by a raging Huguely led to his conviction for second-degree murder. It also led Love’s mother, Sharon Love, and sister, Lexi Love Hodges, to create the OneLove Foundation to educate young men and women about the signs of relationship abuse.

According to an affidavit, Huguely, 22, admitted that he kicked in Love’s door and shook her, repeatedly hitting her head against a wall.

Yeardley Love

RELATED: Yeardley Love Murder: How Her Family is Coping 5 Years Later

On Saturday HLN will premier Killer at College about the run-up to Love’s death as part of its Lies, Crimes & Videos series. The episode airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT; a clip is above.

George Huguely V
AP Photo/Steve Helber

Like his victim, Huguely was a UVA senior and lacrosse player whose legal defense claimed the murder was “not intended, but an accident with a tragic outcome.” He had admitted to having a fight with Love that got physical; witnesses found Love in her bedroom face down in a pool of blood on her pillow, with a large bruise on the right side of her face caused by blunt force trauma.

Several of Love’s friends later said they had seen signs of relationship violence between the couple, but none saw enough to piece together the full picture.

RELATED: How a PEOPLE Magazine Story on Yeardley Love’s Murder Changed a Woman’s Life

“From the outside looking in, she looked perfect,” Love’s cousin Sharon Robinson, told PEOPLE in 2015. “Smart, fun, lots of friends — she seemingly had it all. That’s part of the reason why her story resonates. You think, how can this happen to someone like that?”

Huguely, now 31, was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

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In writing that she was awakened on the morning after the murder by police at the front door of the family’s home in Cockeysville, Maryland, Sharon Love recalled “from that moment, the life I knew was over. It was incomprehensible to me that someone I knew, someone that Yeardley cared for, had taken her life.”

“Yeardley’s life held so much promise. She touched the world in such a kind and gentle way during her brief time here. My family vowed to keep Yeardley’s memory alive, and continue her good works through our efforts,” creating the foundation that combined her daughter’s name and her No. 1 lacrosse jersey number.

Since 2010, the OneLove Foundation has reached more than 750,000 people of middle, high school and college age through presentations that include a film and small-group discussions, according to the nonprofit, with more than 20,000 trained facilitators leading workshops and more than 100 million people engaged by online content.

According to the website, one in three women will experience some form of abuse during their lifetime, and young women ages 16-24 are at three times greater risk of being involved in a violent relationship.

“Given the statistics, whether you realize it or not, someone you know has been touched by relationship violence,” Sharon Love wrote. “The truth is, our tragedy isn’t just Yeardley’s story. It’s everyone’s story.”

Killer at College airs Saturday (8 p.m. ET/PT.) as part of HLN’s Lies, Crimes and Videos series.

If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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