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Defense begins in ex-lacrosse player murder trial
Defense begins in trial of ex-U.Va. lacrosse player accused in former girlfriend's slaying
By The Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) ' A defense witness in the murder trial of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player says the defendant's ex-girlfriend suffocated while she lay face down in a pillow in her bedroom.

Dr. Jan E. Leestma testified Wednesday in the trial of George Huguely V. The 24-year-old is accused in the May 3, 2010, death of Yeardley Love. Prosecutors say she died as a result of a battering at the hands of Huguely.

In his testimony, Leestma said it was his medical opinion that Love was asphyxiated when blood and fluids from her mouth sealed off her breathing.

The defense began its presentation Wednesday after prosecutor Dave Chapman rested. He called about 50 witnesses, including medical experts who said Love died a result of blunt force trauma that bruised and wrenched her brain.

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