Lawyer for Jesse Matthew Requests Fairfax Trial Be Postponed

This story was originally published May 12, 2015.

A lawyer for Jesse Matthew Jr., the man charged in the death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, is requesting that his trial in Fairfax in a separate case be postponed.

Matthew is scheduled to go on trial June 8 in an attempted murder and sex assault case dating back to 2005.

In that case, he is accused of attacking a 26-year-old victim 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.

His defense attorneys are now requesting 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, the attorneys say they need 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.

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

If granted, the continuance would be the third trial date set in the case against Matthew in Fairfax. Matthew's 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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