When something went wrong in George Huguely’s life, he didn’t have to figure out a way to work his way back to someone’s good graces. No one ever put a foot up his ass and made him straighten out. So he always got his way.
And on the night of Yeardley Love’s death, Huguely went to her bedroom door and found it locked. Someone with common sense and regard for the law would have turned around and left. Not Huguely. He kicked her door down. And then he killed her. He didn’t turn away that night because he didn’t care about the law…because on every occasion that he violated it, some member of the legal system soft-peddled him and he left the courtroom snickering under his breath.
He never learned his lesson, as the prosecuting attorney pointed out during the sentencing phase of the trial.
Until last Wednesday night in Charlottesville.
The summary of this story is simple: Scores of people are waking up somewhere this morning and saying to themselves, “If only I would have reached out to George…or Yeardley. If only I would have taken the whole thing more seriously. If only I would have stopped recruiting athletes for a half-a-day and paid attention to the serious nature of this situation.”
George Huguely V is now a convicted murderer, but he’s no more a killer than a kid you see walking through White Marsh Mall today with his high school letterman’s jacket on and a cute girl walking beside him.
Killing wasn’t in Huguely’s blood as a youngster or a teen-ager or a lacrosse player at Virginia.
But other things were, like alcohol and anger and lack of self control.
And everyone around him knew those things were boiling inside of him and no one did anything to help him.
I don’t feel sorry for Huguely and his 26 year sentence because he got what he got based on what the rules of our country allow. He’s very fortunate it wasn’t more. Perhaps twelve completely different people would have given him 60 years behind bars.
But I do feel sorry for him in the sense that it’s now quite obvious that all the bravado, good looks and charm he possessed weren’t nearly enough to save him from the worst of his demons. And I hate to think about what he’s going to endure in the state penetentiary. It won’t remind him of the Landon School, I can assure you of that.
Even homecoming kings wind up in jail.
And homecoming queens wind up dead.
It’s a shame no one reached out to really try and help them.
That’s what I’ll take from the whole thing. We all need help.
We need to give it. And, sometimes, take it.