The nursing assistant accused of kidnapping University of Virginia student Hannah Graham last September has been charged with her murder, Virginia prosecutors announced Tuesday. In addition to first-degree murder, Jesse Matthew, 33, has been indicted with abduction with intent to defile and two counts of reckless driving.
"The prosecutions will bring Mr. Matthew to justice for these crimes — crimes that were committed against Hannah Graham, her family and our community," Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford told reporters.
Authorities ruled Graham's death a homicide in November, a month after the body of the 18-year-old sophomore was found on an abandoned property in Albemarle County.
Matthew was previously charged with abduction in connection with Graham's killing. He pleaded not guilty in November to attempted murder and two other felony charges in an unrelated 2005 sexual assault case in Fairfax County, Virginia, where he remains jailed. Authorities have said he may have to stand trial in that case before he can be tried in Graham's murder. A date for that trial may be decided Friday, Lunsford said.
Graham's remains were found Oct. 18, less than 10 miles from where she'd last been seen alive in the early morning of Sept. 13 after a night out with friends. Before she vanished, she texted a friend at 1 a.m. that she was lost.
Lunsford declined to discuss the evidence in the case and how Graham was killed. Matthew is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 18 via video conference on the latest charges.
— Richie Duchon and Erik Ortiz