After several postponements, George Huguely V, accused of killing his former girlfriend Yeardley Love almost a year ago, is to appear Monday before a Virginia judge for a preliminary hearing at which prosecutors are expected to lay out the case against him.

Once the Charlottesville prosecutor presents the evidence against Huguely, the judge will decide whether the case is sufficient to bring to trial. Huguely, who was a University of Virginia varsity lacrosse player, is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, breaking and entering, burglary, robbery and grand larceny. Love, a 22-year-old fellow lacrosse player, was found dead in her campus apartment May 3, 2010. She was to have graduated two weeks later.

In anticipation of the hearing in Charlottesville General District Court, the victim's mother, Sharon Love, and sister, Lexie Love, released a statement to The Baltimore Sun saying they have "faith in the justice system and trust that the truth will prevail."

Members of the Love family had previously expressed to friends their concern that Huguely's defense team was trying to besmirch the victim's memory and reputation. The attorneys alleged in December that the presence of Adderall — a medication that contains amphetamine — in Love's system made her vulnerable to a heart arrhythmia, a condition to which they ascribed her death.

The pathologist who performed the autopsy said Love's brain had numerous contusions, and that he did not believe the amphetamine in her system — prescribed to help manage her attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder — was a contributing factor in her death. He concluded that the cause was blunt-force trauma.

Love, a Baltimore native who was raised in Cockeysville and attended Notre Dame Preparatory School, was found in her bedroom in a pool of blood, one eye swollen shut and a large bruise on her face.

Huguely, an anthropology major from Chevy Chase who also was 22 at the time, was arrested shortly afterward. A police affidavit said the couple had been in an "altercation" and that Huguely had shaken Love and banged her head repeatedly against a wall.

A burly youth with a stellar history as a lacrosse player, Huguely was given a suspended 60-day jail sentence and a fine after he became belligerent toward a police officer in Lexington, Va., in November 2008. Three months later, Huguely attacked a college lacrosse teammate, according to UVa officials.

"We miss Yeardley so very much and will work tirelessly to honor her legacy," the Love family's statement said. "It is truly devastating to wake up each day and realize she is no longer here. Her bright, bright future was stolen from us all. Yeardley's contagious smile, kind spirit and gentle touch have left this world but we know heaven now has an angel like no other."

The two women said they would "never be able to sufficiently thank everyone for their outpouring of love, support and prayers" in the aftermath of the tragedy. They said friends and supporters "have given us the strength to continue and we are eternally grateful to each and every one of them."

Sharon Love, a teacher and interpreter for the deaf in Baltimore public schools, was in Charlottesville on Sunday to prepare for the hearing. Friends said she intends to take a leave from her work to attend Huguely's trial.

nick.madigan@baltsun.com

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