The University of Virginia lacrosse player charged with killing his girlfriend is expected to respond by videotape Monday to five additional charges: felony murder, robbery, burglary, statutory burglary and grand larceny. Prosecutors filed the charges against George Huguely V, 23, late Friday, and the hearing was scheduled in Charlottesville.
Also on Monday, prosecutors will ask for a continuance on Huguely's preliminary hearing for his original charge of first-degree murder, which was set for Jan. 21.
Huguely, of Chevy Chase, was arrested in May in the beating death of his former girlfriend, 22-year-old U.Va. senior Yeardley Love.
Huguely's lawyers say they expected the additional charges.
"These additional charges were not unexpected and we have been fully prepared to defend against them," the defense, led by Francis McQ. Lawrence, wrote in an e-mailed statement. "We think it is significant that the amended charges acknowledge that there was no premeditation."
Huguely has a shot at having the first-degree murder charges against him reduced to second-degree or even manslaughter if prosecutors can't prove Love's slaying was premeditated and malicious, legal experts said.
But the bar is low for proving premeditation, according to Lynchburg lawyer Sid Kirstein.
"Premeditation is not a major obstacle if you can show for a single second Huguely thought about [killing Love]," Kirstein told
The Washington Examiner. The new charges help build the case for malicious intent, which prosecutors must prove in order to land second-degree charges and a five-to-40-year prison sentence. Malice separates second-degree murder from the lesser charge of manslaughter, which carries a one-to-10-year sentence.
Lawrence is expected to claim Huguely lacked malice by arguing the slaying was a "crime of passion" -- an irrational reaction stemming from Huguely's strong feelings for Love.
Lawrence has challenged a medical examiner's ruling that Love died of blunt force trauma to the head, saying drugs in her system and even attempts to revive her may have contributed to her death.