As one who was born & raised in Virginia, and who has many friends who are alumni of UVA, I've followed this case since Ms. Love was brutally murdered two weeks before she was scheduled to graduate. The following was written by Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune of the FaithTrust Institute on her blog.
This case is also a grim reminder that dating/domestic violence doesn't care how wealthy or "privileged" you are. Laura
". . . An accident. . ."
This is how the defense attorney described his client's murder of his former girlfriend.
Huguely’s defense attorney said, “We are confident that Ms. Love’s death was not intended but an accident with a tragic outcome.” Hmmm . . .
The moral issue here is one of agency, not intent; Huguely’s actions caused a woman’s death. Period. She was not alone in her room and tripped, falling against the wall, hitting her head and dying from the injury. That would be an accident.
This is dating violence to the extreme. Let’s make sure we see the whole of this unlikely picture. Two white upper-class seniors, both lacrosse players, are ready to graduate next month. They had dated for months, but she ended the relationship recently. He had issues and had been arrested in 2008 for drunkenness at which point he attacked the female police officer. All signs point to his pattern of abusive behavior. His girlfriend tried to get out; he wouldn’t allow it. She’s dead; he’ll go to prison.
This is the same story that is going on in our congregations, colleges and universities regardless of ethnicity, religious affiliation, or geography. Tragic, yes; accident, no. Teen dating violence is experienced by 25% of our youth. I call on campus programs and youth ministries to address these all-too-common experiences in the lives of our youth and hopefully prevent these tragic outcomes.
I think of Mother Jones: “Pray for the dead; fight like hell for the living.”
Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune