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Jury selection in UVA murder trial

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WTVR) – George Huguely pleaded not guilty to six charges as his murder trial began in Charlottesville, Virginia. CBS 6 reporter Shelby Brown provided the update via Twitter Monday morning.

Huguely, 24, is charged with first degree murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend and University of Virginia lacrosse player, Yeardley Love. [Read more about the case]

Brown noted Love’s family appeared visibly shaken when Huguely was escorted into the courtroom. She said Huguely looked much thinner than he did in past court appearances. She said he made little eye contact with his family in the courtroom.

Jury selection began around 9:30 a.m.

During the morning session, two jurors were selected for the case. Seven potential jurors were dismissed.

Judge Edward L. Hogshire asked lawyers to speed up the selection process. He instructed them to ask general questions to groups of potential jurors, not specific questions to individual candidates.

Judge Hogshire warned potential jurors not to go online or give out any information.

Jury selection resumed from a one-hour lunch break around 1:30 p.m.

Television cameras are not allowed in the courtroom for the trial.

Some reporters are allowed to watch the trial from the courtroom; others are watching a closed circuit feed an overflow room.

Washington Post reporter Jenna Johnson, who is also tweeting details about the trial from Charlottesville, reported George Huguely entered court wearing a dark suit. She noted his hair was shorter hair than when he played lacrosse at the University of Virginia. Johnson also reported on Twitter that Love’s mother and sister are in the courtroom.

Natalie Lopez, with NBC4 in Washington, D.C., tweeted at 9:51 a.m. that the first pool of potential jurors was being sworn-in.

Charlottesville CBS affiliate said that there were 45 potential jurors scheduled to appear on Monday, but five were absent. At 8:30 p.m., about 11 hours after the selection began, 21 people were cut, and 19 were retained from the 40 questioned today.
The process was time-consuming, and so mid-afternoon an effort was made to speed-up the interview process. Potential jurors were interviewed in groups instead of individually.

Questions asked by the defense team included whether or not a potential juror had used adderall, and they asked other potential jurors about concerns or reservations surrounding domestic violence or college drinking.

Potential jurors were also asked if seeing graphic or disturbing pictures of Yeardley Love would make them partial.

Defense attorneys asked the potential jurors if they would be bothered by a scenario where “intoxication is a defense to first degree murder.” This could be indicative that the defense may argue Huguely was drunk when he attacked Love.