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U.S. Supreme Court rejects Huguely appeal

WASHINGTON (AP) The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from a former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the conviction of George W. Huguely V in the beating death of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old from suburban Baltimore.

Huguely’s lawyers argued that he was denied the right to a fair trial after one of his attorneys became too sick to appear in court and the trial judge allowed proceedings to go ahead anyway.

The Supreme Court of Virginia refused to hear Huguely’s appeal last year.

Love’s slaying occurred in May 2010 in Charlottesville. Huguely and Love had had an on-again, off-again relationship.

The end of Huguely’s criminal appeals could trigger activity in connection with a $30 million civil lawsuit filed against Huguely by Love’s mother.

Last week, Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard Moore set a March 2017 trial date for the wrongful death suit. Two related actions relating to insurance coverage for Huguely remain on hold in Maryland federal court.

Through an attorney, Huguely in 2013 refused to answer questions by insurance companies that might owe coverage. “He will decline to meet with you unless and until his criminal matters are fully concluded,” wrote Huguely attorney Craig S. Cooley, according to court filings.

Two homeowners’ insurance carriers claimed they owed no coverage or defense because of Huguely’s refusal to cooperate.

Maryland U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow put a hold on both insurance coverage lawsuits while the criminal case made its way through the appeals process. The civil lawsuit in Charlottesville remained inactive until last week.

Moore – the Charlottesville judge – told attorneys he wanted the coverage issues resolved before moving forward with a trial on the underlying claims, said Irvin V. Cantor of Richmond, who represents the Love family along with Baltimore lawyer Paul D. Bekman.

Additional reporting by VLW. Updated Oct. 5 to add information from Cantor.

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