Fairfax County

Mistrial in Case of Former Middle School Teacher Accused of Sex Acts With Student

gold-trimmed wooden judicial gavel over shadow of bars.

A judge declared a mistrial in the case of a former Fairfax County middle school teacher accused of sex acts with a student. 

Matthew Snell, who used to teach at Thoreau Middle School, was arrested in October 2019 near the Mexican border. 

After more than two days of deliberation this week, a jury found Snell not guilty of carnal knowledge.

The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on a second count of carnal knowledge and a count of indecent liberties. The judge declared a mistrial on those two charges.

There will be a hearing next week to set a new trial date on the remaining charges.

Snell issued a statement through his attorney saying, “I have maintained my innocence for the entire 861 days the commonwealth of Virginia has fought to keep me incarcerated without bail. The commonwealth has had over 800 days to gather evidence, and today a jury spoke clearly as to the quality of the evidence the commonwealth has used to keep me in a cage. Thanks to my attorney Damon D. Colbert for his relentless advocacy on my behalf.”

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