Month: February 2012

Sketches of Two Great Lawyers

Harvard and Stanford constitutional expert Kathleen Sullivan made a brilliant argument in the Supreme Court today and ceded no quarter. When asked by Justice Breyer if Blackbeard would have been protected by incorporating Pirates, Inc., she replied, “yes, the corporation would not be liable.” SC120228_Sullivan

Stanford Law professor Jeffrey Fisher had a harder time of it – and the harder argument – trying to persuade a skeptical Court that the word “individuals” in the Torture Victim Protection Act could refer to organizations, and not just human beings. SC120228_Fisher

You can read Lyle Denniston’s analysis here.


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SCOTUS Hears “Stolen Valor Act”


A lively argument was heard at the Supreme Court Wednesday on the constitutionality of the “Stolen Valor Act” which makes it a crime to lie about receiving military decorations.

Robert Barnes has the story here.

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Huguely Verdict and Sentencing

A Charlottesville jury last night found George Huguely guilty of second-degree murder and one count of grand larceny. After hearing testimony from Yeardley Love’s mother and sister, and arguments from lawyers the jury recommended a prison term of 26 years on the murder charge and one year for the larceny. Huguely20223_head

WaPo story here.


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A Bad Day for the Defense

The final day of trial was pretty much a disaster for George Huguely. While his lawyer, Rhonda Quagliana, who had been ill and MIA for the past two days had returned to court, she still looked a little green. Huguely120218_Rhonda
It didn’t help that the prosecution had discovered that this same lawyer had improperly briefed her witnesses on the testimony of the Commonwealth’s witness. Huguely120218_ChapmanHuguely120218_witnessHuguely120218_UsinskyHuguely120218_defense

My guess is that the plan was for the defense’s closing to be delivered by Quagliana, but because she was still on the verge of nausea her partner, Francis McQ. Lawrence had to step in and wing it. Huguely120218_Lawrence
His arguing long and rambling, while prosecutor Chapman’s was powerful and emotional. Huguely120218_juryHuguely120218_familyHuguely120218_doorHuguely120218_Lexie

The jury will begin deliberations on Wednesday.

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Lawyer’s Illness Delays Huguely Trial

One of George Huguely’s lawyer was absent for the second day due to “projectile vomit illness”. No testimony was heard yesterday, and today Huguely objected to moving forward without both of his attorneys present. Huguely120217wide
His other attorney, Francis McQ. Lawrence, said to the judge, “Mr. Huguely told me, ‘I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t feel protected'”. But Judge Hogshire told the defense to move foward, and several non-expert witnesses were called.Huguely120217_Wannamaker

The judge seems determined to finish with testimony in the case on Saturday, and if possible have closing arguments and jury instructions as well.

It could well go late into the night.

WaPo story here.

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Prosecution Rests, Defense Begins

After calling several friends of Huguely and Love to the stand and introducing as evidence the bodybag tag and a photo of Yeardley Love’s bruised and battered face the commonwealth rested. Huguely120215_Taylor

The defense led off with a couple of experts that testified about Yeardley’s blood alcohol level and the injury to her brain. Huguely120215wide

George Huguely has paid close attention, but shown little emotion this week. Huguely120215_huguely

Wapo story here.

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A Day of Medical and Forensic Experts

A neuropathologist, blood stain pattern and fingerprint analysts, a toxologist and trace evidence and DNA experts all testified today at Huguely’s trial, as well as the coroner who returned to the stand for the second day. Here are just a few: Huguely120214wide

WaPo story here.

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Huguely Trial Day Six

Here are sketches of the witnesses – except one very brief – who testified at George Huguely’s murder trial today:


WaPo story here.

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An Emotional Day

Detective Lisa Reeves took the witness stand Friday and told the jury how she had brought Huguely from his apartment to the police station for questioning as a potential witness. Noticing that Huguely’s knuckles were severely bruised and that he had a fresh cut on his arm she came to have a “reasonable suspicion that he may have committed this crime”. Huguely120211wide

The interview was videotaped, and the taped played in court. Huguely, sounding still a bit inebriated, admits to drinking all day long the previous day and going over to Yeardley Love’s apartment around 12:45 p.m. “to talk” after an incident the week before when Yeardley went to his apartment and hit him with her purse, accusing him of texting other girls. On the videotape Huguely describes what happened at Yeardley’s apartment over and over for about thirty minutes telling the detective that Yeardley was “freaking out” and “got really aggressive”. He admits shaking her and throwing her on the bed before leaving the apartment.Huguely120210wide

Finally Detective Reeves says “I have to tell you something. She’s dead. You killed her.” After a long silence Hugulely says “she’s dead . . . HOW?” The detective responds “I think you know” Huguely then becomes very upset saying “she’s dead? how the fuck is she dead? She’s dead?…she’s dead?…she’s dead?? I don’t believe it…I didn’t hurt her…I don’t believe she’s dead…I want to see her!” Huguely120210_weep

In the courtroom Huguley began to weep, wiping away tears. It was the first time during the trial that he has shown any emotion.


In the afternoon Detective Michael Flaherty was called to testify and introduce into evidence photos and items taken from the crime scene including the apartment door that Huguely broke through. Huguely120210_family

As the detective described photos of the body laying on the floor Yeardley’s sister Lexie wept as her fiancee tried to comfort her.

Many others in the courtroom were overcome with emotion as well.

WaPo story here.



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A Few More Sketches

Another day of dramatic testimony at the Huguely trial. Here are a few of today’s sketches:

George Huguely taking notes during testimony.

The first EMT to take the witness stand.

Dr. Brady, who reviewed the EMT’s work.

The Honorable Edward L. Hogshire.

Witness demonstrating chokehold on the Commonwealth’s attorney.

You can read about it here.

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