February 16, 2011
CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford has covered some of the most compelling cases in the country over the past few decades. He was in Charlottesville on Wednesday speaking to a group at the University of Virginia Miller Center for Public Affairs about the significance of these cases.
Before that appearance, however, Ford spoke with CBS19 about two of the most compelling cases in Charlottesville in recent memory - the tragic deaths of Morgan Harrington and Yeardley Love - and the national attention each continues to receive.
In pinpointing the attention, Ford said that the Love and Harrington stories tug at the heartstrings of parents across the country.
"I looked at her face in the picture and it reminded me of my daughter. I'm sure it reminds so many people out there of their own daughters," he said of Yeardley Love, the slain UVa women's lacrosse player.
Love's death at her off-grounds apartment in May 2010 is evidence that violence can happen anywhere and to anyone.
"Here she is at the University of Virginia, a spectacular place that any parent would love to have their child, and yet, she's not immune to that violence," the former Court TV personality explained.
Her suspected murderer, ex-boyfriend and former men's lacrosse player George Huguely, just adds to the drama of the case.
"The sense of loss, the frustration, the fear that parents would have, seeing two young people whose lives conceivably are completely lost. One truly lost, and the other spending the rest of his life in prison," said Ford, who added that the national audience will only grow if the case goes to trial.
In the Harrington case, the legal analyst said her story is compelling because the killer remains at large.
"You have the combination of a parent's worst nightmare and a violent death unresolved. That's certainly a recipe of a significant focus by the public," Ford said.
He added that the case is especially difficult for the community as the search for clues drags on and the possibility of an arrest becomes less.