One college student is dead.
Another could be going away for a long, long time.
George Huguely was painted as a drunk, overprivileged athlete whose heinous transgression came in the heat of passion – in legalese, that’s voluntary manslaughter.
But Wednesday night, Huguely was convicted by a jury in Charlottesville, Va., of second-degree murder and grand larceny. His sentence for the 2010 killing of Yeardley Love has not yet been determined, but after 7 p.m. Wednesday night, Love’s mother and sister spoke as sentencing witnesses in court.
Huguely’s father, according to several media reports, was not in court on Wednesday. During sentencing, nobody testified on Huguely’s behalf.
When I learned of the verdict, I didn’t shout or leap in the air … or even celebrate in any way. What is there to celebrate? It was a sad moment. Not even bittersweet. Learning the verdict against Huguely left me with a strange, empty feeling.
Because Love’s death could have been prevented.
Because Huguely’s behavior and his actions could have been stopped.
Because there’s another man out there who abused a woman to the point of death, and his actions and her death won’t receive as much attention.
Who wins? What did anybody win?
Yeardley Love is dead.
George Huguely will go to prison. Legally, he has been branded as a murderer.
Really. Who wins?
If someone finds anything from this, I hope it is the girl who wants to walk away from her abusive boyfriend. She will.
Or the lacrosse/baseball/football players who know their teammate has a problem, but has to find a way to confront them. They will.
Or the kids in high school who are targeted and picked on by the “cool kids” for being different – because at my high school, George Huguely would have been one of the “cool kids.” They have the power to stand up for themselves and to be compassionate towards others. They will.
I hope Yeardley Love’s family and friends can find some closure in this. And, more importantly, I hope they can find some kind of peace in this judgment.