Jesse Matthew Will Enter Plea in Killings of Both Hannah Graham, Morgan Harrington | NBC4 Washington

Julie Carey, David Culver and the News4 team covering where you live

Jesse Matthew Will Enter Plea in Killings of Both Hannah Graham, Morgan Harrington

Jesse Matthew is charged in the deaths of students Hannah Graham, 18, and Morgan Harrington, 20

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    The man charged in the deaths of Virginia college students Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington is expected to enter a plea agreement this week.

    Jesse L. Matthew Jr. will enter the pleas in Albemarle County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Commonwealth's Attorney Robert N. Tracci announced Monday afternoon.

    Graham, an 18-year-old student at the University of Virginia, vanished in September 2014 after a night out with friends. 

    She was seen on surveillance video on Charlottesville's downtown mall, both alone and with a man prosecutors have said is Matthew. Her remains were found five weeks later.

    Harrington, 20, was a student at Virginia Tech when she disappeared in fall 2009 after attending a concert on the University of Virginia campus. Her remains were found in early 2010.

    "...(It) is anticipated that Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr., will be entering a plea agreement to resolve both the Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington abduction and murder cases," Tracci said in a release Monday. An earlier version of the media release said Matthew would be entering guilty pleas in the cases. A second version simply called it a plea agreement.

    Matthew had been charged with capital murder in Graham's death and first-degree murder in Harrington's death. His trials in those cases had been scheduled to be held in July and October, respectively.

    During a pretrial hearing in January, Matthew's defense attorneys argued that crucial evidence should be thrown out, but after 10 hours of testimony, a judge sided with the prosecution.

    Matthew is already serving three life sentences in another case, the attempted murder and assault of a 26-year-old woman in Fairfax in 2005. The victim had been walking home from a grocery store when she was grabbed and grabbed into the woods, where she was assaulted and choked.

    Matthew took an Alford plea in that case in June 2015. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict.

    Prosecutors have said all three cases were linked by DNA evidence.

    Investigators had first linked the Harrington and Fairfax cases, but didn't have a suspect. After Matthew was arrested weeks after Graham's disappearance, Virginia State Police said the arrest "provided a significant break" in the Harrington case.