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Court records: Jesse Matthew allegedly punched driver twice, then drove man to hospital

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CHARLOTTEVILLE , Va. -- For those who know Jesse Matthew, the accusation that he abducted Hannah Graham or that he is linked to the Morgan Harrington case in any way, is hard to believe.

One of the Covenant High School football players coached by Matthew, who was a volunteer,  told CBS-6 he was stunned by the allegations.

"He was a good guy, he was very religious," the  player said.

Deyard Milligan, who works at the Charlottesville barbershop Matthew frequented, agreed.

"He was a quiet guy," Milligan said. "He was very quiet."

Joe Gurak, whose father worked with the suspect,  said Matthew "didn't seem like a guy who would do something like that."

In fact, friends from Monticello High School described Matthew as "the big man on campus" and, "a teddy bear."

However, court records obtained by CBS 6 News reveal a man who may also have had a violent temper at times.

In 2009, the then 27-year-old was accused of following a driver he thought had cut him off, then punching the man in the face twice and taking his phone near a convenience store.  Strangely, that driver also claims Matthew actually drove him to the hospital after the confrontation.

Additionally, Matthew was found guilty of trespassing in 2010 at the now closed Bucks Auto Repair after he was asked to leave four times.

And it has been widely reported that Matthew was accused of sexual assault on the campus of Liberty University in 2002.

Criminologist on Matthew

Forensic and serial criminal expert Mike Banks says Matthew's friends' perspective may not necessarily be relevant, because suspects accused of even the most heinous crimes may not stand out as dangerous.

"Sociopaths fit very easily into society. Many of them have families who have no idea what they do on their own," Banks said.

joeinditch

Specialized crews continue searching for Hannah Graham. Joe St. George reported that crews searched off Route 20 south of Charlottesville on Tuesday. Some of the terrain includes high weeds, which can make for difficult ground to cover. That's one reason why officials are asking residents to search their own land.

Where is Hannah Graham?

It was late on a Friday night and a freckled, blue-eyed University of Virginia student named Hannah Graham was partying in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.

Graham, described as an accomplished athlete and straight-A student, was seen various times before her disappearance in the early hours of September 13.

She was at a party and later at an apartment complex, just blocks away.  A surveillance camera caught her outside a pub, where she was turned away.

She was next seen running past a gas station, and witness accounts have her walking onto the Downtown Mall, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with restaurants and shops. There were a few people out walking around, and surveillance cameras help capture the track Graham took.

A surveillance camera at an Italian cafe captured her walking eastbound along the mall about 1:06 a.m. A camera at a jewelry store recorded her passing two minutes later.

That camera footage appears to show her walking with Matthew, which a witness confirmed, saying Graham was approached by a man who put his arm around her.

Matthew was originally spotted on a camera mounted at the Italian café, heading the opposite way  Graham was. The video shows him cross over and fall into step behind the 18-year-old.

Police said that at 1:20 a.m., she texted her friends to say she was lost and trying to find a party.

However, she told her friends, according to police, that she was lost at a location near her apartment – which was 1.5 miles from where she was spotted on camera ten minutes before the text.

One witness told police she and a man were seen having drinks at a bar between 1:30 and 2 a.m.

But the owner of the restaurant released a contradictory statement, saying that Matthew had been inside the bar, but Graham had not.

She may have been under the influence of alcohol, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said, and may have been vulnerable or unable to defend herself.

Jesse Matthew

DNA links Matthew to Morgan Harrington Case

Matthew's bond hearing will take place Thursday morning in General District Court.

Sources close to the investigation confirmed to CBS 6 reporter Laura French that Matthew has been forensically linked to the 2009 disappearance of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington,

Those sources indicated that forensic evidence belonging to Graham suspect Jesse Matthew Jr., matched forensic evidence collected during the Harrington investigation.

The sources would not indicate what Matthew may or may not have done with Harrington, however the sources indicated that the forensic evidence match showed Harrington had some sort of contact with Matthew the night she disappeared outside John Paul Jones arena on October 17, 2009. Her remains were found in January 2010 on an Albemarle County farm.

Matthew also was questioned in connection with an alleged sexual assault nearly 12 years ago, authorities said.

But no charges were filed because the woman didn't want to go forward with the case and investigators determined there wasn't enough evidence to arrest Matthew, said Michael Doucette, the commonwealth's attorney for Lynchburg, Virginia.

According to a statement from Lynchburg police, the woman reported she was raped on the campus of Liberty University on October 17, 2002.

Matthew told authorities that the woman consented, Doucette said, adding that there were no witnesses.

Matthew's father spoke publicly, for the first time, to CBS 6. He said his son would not have harmed Graham.

"For a big man, he's as gentle as they come," Jesse Matthew Sr. said. "The only thing I could see, him, maybe trying to give the girl a ride or help her out.

"To kill or hurt somebody, that's not my son."

Last week Matthew appeared before Galveston County Judge Mark Henry on a charge of giving false information to a Texas police officer.

Matthew's Virginia-based lawyer had little to say about his client when approached this week outside his Charlottesville office.

"I am Mr. Matthew's attorney," James Camblos said. "I was hired on Saturday. That's the only thing that I'm going to confirm at this point. The family and I -- nobody is making any statements at this point in time. We might later on, but right now we are not."

Matthew willingly went to a police station last weekend, along with several family members, walking through the front door and asking for a lawyer, Longo said. There was no warrant for his arrest at that time.

Matthew and the lawyer spoke and then left, the police chief said, giving detectives no clearer picture of what may have happened the day Graham disappeared. Because he has retained counsel, police cannot question him.

What’s next in the search for Hannah Graham? 

Charlottesville Police have received 2,400 tips so far in the case. The first weekend after Graham’s disappearance, more than 1,200 volunteers and Virginia Department of Emergency Management officials spent the weekend searching for clues that would lead them to Graham.

Authorities say they think people who know Matthew may be helpful in the search for Graham.

"If you know Jesse, and many people do because Jesse grew up here," Longo said. "He went to school here. He has family here. He went to church here. He worked here. Lots of people know Jesse."

Longo also asked property owners to check their land for anything suspicion.

He asked owners that have checked their land to call the Hannah Graham tip line at 434-295-3851 or email CPDTips@charlottesville.org to let investigators cross those properties off the list.

“If you have seen tire tracks…that seem suspect, again, contact us,” Longo said. “We will make the assessment of what is relevant.”

The chief also asked for the help of Charlottesville-area realtors.

“If you are a realtor who serves the greater Charlottesville area, we are asking you to go to vacant properties to follow the same directives that we have asked property owners.”

The city of Charlottesville, the University of Virginia and the local community have contributed $100,000 to a reward for “information leading to the cause” of Graham’s disappearance.

Anyone with info is asked to call the tipline at 434-295-3851. All surveillance videos can be seen here. All reports filed on this case can be found here.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the latest updates on this important story. 

16 comments

  • Paula

    O now everybody is comming forward now. Why didn’t these people told all this before this happen.. Everybody got a story now well it is too late for Hannah.

  • Steel Mill

    I am going out on a limb here with an unpopular view. Since we do not know for sure what condition Hannah was in it is speculation. However, the whole underage drinking thing seems to be an issue that while secondary is unavoidable. Time and time again we see, hear, read about persons under 21 drinking too much and getting into some difficulty. According to reports, Hannah reported being in an unfamiliar part of town and “lost”. Lost? In Cville? It is not like it is NYC. Leads some credibility to the the theory of being intoxicated. Here is my thesis. Lower the age to 18 not 21, that would a least bit a step in having those under 21 drinking responsibly.

    • Msswiss

      I read another article on here that said Hannah ‘s twitter offered NO clues. The author must have only read a few. It was clear from her twitter that she was a high functioning alcoholic whose nickname was blackout.

    • michelle k

      Drinking is an epidemic in general. Hannah on her Twitter often tweets regarding parties etc. She gives the impression that she drinks often. This whole thing is speculation and regardless if she was blitz or not that should even be focused on at all. I am sure if she has been murdered that there were a whole puzzle of factors that contributed, and lined up just right for this to occur. Its just sad to think/speculate that her life may have been saved if she was not impaired. I do not know the statistics but the connection between alcohol, and crime has been rampant in our society for too long. It should be treated as a disease to anyone who drinks and experiences negative consequences resulting from being impaired. It should be treated for many as aggressively as someone discovering they have cancer and aftercare should be a part of it, just as a cancer patient is treated. I am not judging , and only by the grace of God nothing bad has happened to me …and it could have easily happened. Young adults, like Hannah ( and I am making this statement just from reading her own words) are attracted to drinking, and partying etc… It is socially normal and expected and that thinking kills people every day.

      • Linda Wunderlich

        You have no idea if she was truly drunk or not. And the sober victims family members right now are puking over your statement.

  • marie

    I’ve said it before, now a professional had confirmed it. This guy is a sociopath. Whenever you do something like this but your family, friends or associates are in awe, you are a sociopath. I’m pretty sure, they will think back and be able to see certain things that stood out as odd about him now that the truth about him is out.

  • Bill

    A sociopath is more concerned about his prison clothes and” hard mattress” as he awaits extradition. So self absorbed and blindly arrogant with no feeling.

  • gunther

    so because she was drunk she deserved this,okay go with that theory.Now whenever a black person does something or is suspected of doing something its somebody else’s fault or there is a reason to justify it.good grief people.specially you white cowards,just because you think this man might have committed a crime doesn’t make you a racists so stop jumping on the black bandwagon.If blacks were as outraged at the daily killings of other unarmed blacks,women and kids then maybe ,just maybe somebody would see your point,but no only when their accused of killing a white person or a white person has killed them do you riot and make a big deal out of it.Blacks are murdering each other daily yet your soul focus for months has been on 1 white police officer.This guy will have a trial and if found guilty you get another reason to go steal stuff so just wait for it,ok

    • Crushing

      Here we go!!! So now here I go. If Jesse Mathews did all of this sociopath or not, his a$$ need the chair but reading these comments no one said nothing about race so shut the phuck up whitey!!!! Everybody comments were sticking to the topic but your dumb a$$!!!

  • Hang 10

    Gunther has a point. The guy seems guilty and there are enough comments that show many have him pegged as killer.
    Do not know if he did or did not do it. Have to wait on that one. I will say there are more than enough examples of someone being found guilty and then years later been found innocent. Then again if the cops have DNA evidence, that is pretty much it.
    That there are often killings of persons of color that do not generate this publicity should give us all pause to think.

  • informed cynic

    SICK of hearing how much of a nice guy he is-were Bundy and Gacy not nice well respected members of their communities too? oh okay its ALWAYS the nice guys you gotta watch #PERIOD

  • Rizob

    Woah, it’s so weird that he might have killed all these people. I never saw him lurking in the shadows wearing dark clothes and telling everyone that he was a serial killer. His ski mask was worn strictly for skiing too. Go figure?!

Comments are closed.