Fairfax Judge Postpones Jesse Matthew Assault Trial - NBC4 Washington

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Fairfax Judge Postpones Jesse Matthew Assault Trial

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    A judge postponed a Fairfax County trial Friday for a Charlottesville man who is also charged with abducting University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

    Jesse L. Matthew Jr.'s lawyers in Fairfax said they need more time to prepare for a trial in a case dating back to 2005, in which he was arrested last fall. The case against him rests heavily on DNA evidence, and defense lawyers said they need time to review and analyze the evidence.

    The prosecution did not oppose the motion, and the judge granted the motion for continuance.

    Matthew was charged in the Fairfax case last October, a few weeks after he was arrested in the Graham case.

    In Fairfax, Matthew is accused of attempted murder and sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman who was attacked in 2005 while walking home from a grocery store. The woman was dragged into a wooded area; her assailant fled after being startled by a passer-by.

    After Matthew was charged last fall, the victim said she was grateful to the lead detective, who stayed in touch with her over nine years, telling her he'd never give up, said Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County Raymond F. Morrogh.

    "I think it's fair to say that she's grateful that the case will go forward to whatever resolution comes to it," Morrogh said last year.

    Matthew has pleaded not guilty in the Fairfax case. His trial was scheduled to begin March 9. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13 to set a new date, likely in June or July.

    Matthew is also charged with the abduction of Graham, who went missing in September after a night out with friends. Graham's disappearance prompted a massive search; her body was found a month later.

    Before the identification of Matthew as a suspect, authorities said they had linked the 2005 Fairfax case to the 2009 disappearance of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, who vanished after attending a concert at U.Va. Her remains were found in early 2010.

    Matthew has not been charged in the Harrington case.