Delay in Jesse Matthew’s Fairfax Trial Denied by Judge

Fairfax County Sheriff's Department

A judge has denied a request by attorneys for Jesse Matthew Jr. to delay his attempted murder trial in Fairfax in a case dating back to 2005. Matthew is also charged in the death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Matthew is scheduled to go on trial June 8 in Fairfax in the earlier case. He is accused of attacking a 26-year-old woman as she walked home from a grocery store in the city of Fairfax in September 2005.

The victim was dragged into a wooded area and sexually assaulted. Her attacker was interrupted by a passerby and then ran off.

Matthew was indicted in October 2014 for attempted capital murder, abduction with attempt to defile, and sexual penetration with an object in that case. All three charges are felonies. He has pleaded not guilty.

Earlier this week, his defense attorneys requested the trial be postponed, saying that if Matthew isn't granted the continuance, "he will be severely prejudiced in his ability to be adequately prepared for trial."

In a motion filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court earlier this week, the attorneys said they needed more time to sift through thousands of pages of the Commonwealth's evidence, citing 4,000 pages of discovery they received from prosecutors in January. The documents include notes and details of Fairfax City police's investigation for the nine years before Matthew's arrest.

The defense said Matthew's constitutional rights have been "obliterated" the judge's decision Friday not to delay the trial further.

"Many of the items included relate to other possible suspects (approximately 40), some of which are extensive background investigations of the suspects," according to the motion filed by the defense.

The defense attorneys said it's taken "countless hours" to review the materials, and have not yet reviewed physical evidence from the case.

Matthew had already received one continuance in Fairfax. His trial had previously been set to began March 9.

Matthew is also facing charges of capital murder, first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in the Graham case. 

Graham vanished in September 2014 after a night out with friends. Her remains were found about five weeks later.

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