Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A similar situation?

New details being revealed in the sad case of Yeardley Love's murder... And, sadly, many similarities to a story we all know too well. Here are just a few of the similarities:

--The victim and the accused were involved in a romantic relationship, but were in the process of breaking up.
Kelly-Anne and Marty were also in the process of ending their relationship.

--The accused was known for being violent and especially "aggressive when he drank." In 2008, he was arrested and shocked with a stun gun after a violent encounter with a police officer. He also threatened to "kill everyone" upon his arrest.
After Kelly-Anne was murdered it became known that Marty had a violent track record, especially in past relationships. Marty had also been charged and acquitted of uttering death threats and was prevented from possessing weapons.

--The media is reporting that friends of the victim and the accused say that the accused tried to attack the victim in public just weeks ago. Police are also investigating claims that the accused may have issued threats via text message.
According to the testimony of several of her close friends, Marty was violent toward Kelly-Anne and issued threats including in the weeks leading up to her death.

--The accused admits to a violent altercation with the victim immediately prior to her death but says her death was an "accident that turned tragic." He claims to have shaken her, causing her head to bang against a wall repeatedly.
Never in the time since she died has Marty admitted to Kelly-Anne's death. Instead he claimed that he and Kelly-Anne were arguing, he threw his hands up in frustration, sending the steak knife with which he'd been eating through the air, stabbing her in the back of the neck. The defense theorized that Kell tripped on a soft-drink bottle and fell back against the stove, which pushed the knife farther into base of her skull, snapping off the blade. Obviously, the jury recognized this tall tale for what it was.

There are a few disturbing differences in how these cases will be prosecuted, however:

--George Huguely has been charged with first degree murder in the death of Yeardley Love. In the state of Virginia, this is a class one felony that carries a punishment of death or life in prison with no parole.
Martin Morin-Cousineau, on the other hand, was charged only with second degree murder in the death of Kelly-Anne Drummond. He will be eligible for parole after 13 years.

Anyone else think there's something seriously wrong with this picture? I could easily make the case that--simply by virtue of the weapon of choice (knife v. hands)--Cousineau intended more deadly harm than Huguely.

Why do Quebecers put up with a justice system that is so lenient to its most violent criminals?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Rest in peace, Yeardley Love

I don't know what it is about these kinds of crimes, but I can't ever seem to get them out of my head. Another accomplished, athletic young woman cut down in the prime of her life by a man with whom had been romantically involved.

You may have seen the news stories about the "Lacrosse Murders" at the University of Virginia. Yeardley Love, was found dead in a pool of blood in her apartment. Her former boyfriend, George Huguely, has been accused of first degree murder. Both the victim and the accused are 22 and both play lacrosse for UVA. A more detailed summary of the case can be found here. A video is also embedded below.

Yeardley seems like she was a great girl--an elite athlete, she is remembered by her friends as smart, personable, kind, and friendly. I hope that her friends and family will help make that her legacy, rather than the tragic way she died.

I can only imagine what the Love family and all of Yeardley's friends are going through as they try to deal with this horrible tragedy. I will keep them and the entire lacrosse community in my thoughts and prayers.