Virginia

Judge Expected to Set New Trial Date in Hannah Graham Case

Jesse-Matthew-fairfax
Fairfax County Sheriff's Department

The man charged with abducting and killing a University of Virginia student Hannah Graham is due in court for a pretrial hearing.

Albemarle County Circuit Judge Cheryl Higgins is expected to set a trial date Tuesday for Jesse Matthew Jr. In March, Higgins granted a request by Matthew's lawyers to postpone his scheduled June 29 trial.

Matthew is charged with first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Matthew, now 33, was the last person seen with 18-year-old Graham, who disappeared after a night out with friends last September. Her remains were found in a rural area five weeks later.

Matthew was not charged with capital murder in Graham's case, which means he would not face the death penalty if convicted. The abduction and first-degree murder charges are each punishable by up to life in prison.

Matthew is also charged with the 2005 attempted murder and sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman who was attacked while walking home from a Fairfax County grocery store.

He is also accused in the attempted murder and sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman who was attacked while walking home from a Fairfax County grocery store. The woman says her assailant fled after being startled by a passer-by.

Matthew has pleaded not guilty in that case, which is scheduled to go to trial June 8.

He faces a possibility of five life sentences if convicted in both Fairfax and Albemarle counties.

Before Matthew was identified 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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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