U.Va. Lacrosse Murder Trial Day 5: Expert Testifies Blunt Force Trauma Ultimately Killed Yeardley Love

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Left: Yeardley Love Right: George Huguely V  (Credit: University of Virginia / Charlottesville Police Department)

Left: Yeardley Love Right: George Huguely V (Credit: University of Virginia / Charlottesville Police Department)

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — A coroner says Yeardley Love, the ex-girlfriend of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player on trial for her murder, had trace amounts of medicine used to treat ADHD and twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system at the time of her death, but neither were lethal amounts.

Dr. Michael Gormley, who performed Love’s autopsy, testified for the prosecution Tuesday at the trial of George Huguely V, who is accused of killing her in a violent encounter in May 2010.

Gormley said it was his conclusion that the 22-year-old died from cardiac arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat, from blunt force trauma.

Other medical experts testified for the prosecution, saying Love likely suffered brain injuries that could have disrupted her heartbeat.

Two neuropathologists testified for the prosecution, detailing the small bruises and bleeding all over Love’s brain. One testified that the bruises near her temples were consistent with a fall from a height or a punch to the head.

The medical experts said the most serious bruising was located in her brain stem, which controls the body’s breathing and may have disrupted her heartbeat.

They said bruises on her brain were caused by a sudden snapping of the head. The snapping consisted of a twisting motion with sudden accelerating and deceleration.

However, Huguely’s lawyers got the pathologist to admit they had no idea what caused that torque of her head or how much force would be required to cause the sudden snapping motion during cross-examination according to 9News Now’s Bruce Leshan.

Defense attorneys have suggested Love’s death could have been related to prescription medicine she took for attention deficit disorder.

Listen to Leshan’s report filed from Charlottesville.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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