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Commonwealth’s attorney will order ‘scientific testing’ to rule out Jesse Matthew in Alexis Murphy case

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NELSON COUNTY, Va. -- The Nelson County commonwealth's attorney says additional "scientific testing" will take place following a request from the lawyer of Randy Taylor, the man found guilty of murdering Alexis Murphy.

This comes after Taylor's attorney sent a letter to Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin asking for investigators check for a potential link between Hannah Graham abduction suspect Jesse Matthew Jr. and the missing Nelson County teen.

Mike Hallahan was first to confirm to CBS 6 reporter Laura French that he has asked Martin to order new DNA tests in the Alexis Murphy-Randy Taylor case. Additionally, Hallahan asked that investigators probe Matthew's and Murphy's social media accounts to see if they had any contact.

Hallahan told French Thursday morning that he based the request on multiple reports that allege Matthew is “responsible or linked” to the disappearance of multiple young women across the state.

“This is not a fishing expedition, but rather this request is based upon the evidence presented at Randy Taylor’s trial and based upon those new developments relating to Matthew in the news,” Hallahan wrote to the Nelson County commonwealth’s attorney.

Furthermore, Hallahan wrote that Murphy’s family members and friends testified that she would have never gone to Taylor’s home without someone accompanying her. Along those lines, friends testified that she had turned down requests for company the night she went missing which led to speculation that she was going on a date.

“Alexis Murphy’s friends testified that he liked older men (Matthew being about 12 years older) and she was very active on social media, having thousands of friends and followers,” Hallahan wrote.

Additionally, Hallahan argued that no physical evidence was found linking Taylor to the car Murphy was last spotted driving, which was recovered in Charlottesville. Prosecutors had argued that Taylor drove Murphy's vehicle to Charlottesville and then took a cab home.

“There was however some DNA samples collected from the car’s interior that were never identified.”

As a result, Hallahan wants Matthew’s DNA sample compared to the samples recovered from the car Murphy was driving.

“Alexis Murphy’s friends testified that he liked older men (Matthew being about 12 years older) and she was very active on social media, having thousands of friends and followers.”

Randy Taylor and Alexis Murphy

Randy Taylor and Alexis Murphy

However, Martin maintains that the commonwealth’s attorney’s Office, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and Virginia State Police have found no credible evidence linking Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. to the Alexis Murphy case. Martin released the following statement Thursday afternoon.

Randy Taylor was the last known person to have had contact with Alexis Murphy on August 3, 2013 shortly before she went missing. All of the physical evidence at trial showing a violent struggle was located inside Randy Taylor’s camper. This physical evidence consisted of a diamond stud, a fingernail fragment, a long black hair that showed signs of being forcibly removed, all of which had Alexis Murphy’s DNA and were found on the floor of Randy Taylor’s camper and the hair was found on Randy Taylor’s pillow.

Alexis Murphy’s shattered cellphone was found in the brush outside Randy Taylor’s camper. The blue T-shirt that Randy Taylor was seen wearing at the Liberty gas station on August 3rd when he was seen talking with Alexis Murphy, was found under Randy Taylor’s sofa inside his camper. That shirt contained Alexis Murphy’s blood and had hair extensions and false eyelashes that had Alexis Murphy’s DNA and Randy Taylor’s DNA balled up inside the shirt.

Randy Taylor denied ever going to Liberty gas station on August 3rd and denied ever seeing Alexis Murphy. Only after authorities found forensic evidence, putting Alexis Murphy inside his camper, did Randy Taylor admit that Alexis Murphy was in his camper but was with a third person. According to Randy Taylor, the “black guy with cornrows” and Alexis Murphy left in separate vehicles and everything was fine.

Within days after Randy Taylor’s arrest for abduction of Alexis Murphy, Randy Taylor and Mr. Hallahan, his attorney, were 100% certain that the black male that Alexis Murphy left with was Dameon Bradley, a thin light-skinned black male, who drove a maroon Chevy caprice. Mr. Hallahan provided law enforcement with a photo of Dameon Bradley who looks absolutely nothing like Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. Dameon Bradley testified at Taylor’s trial that he did know Alexis Murphy and they were only friends and he worked at the McDonalds at the Liberty gas station which is a place that Randy Taylor frequented on a daily basis.

At no time did the name Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. ever come up by Randy Taylor or Mr. Hallahan until Mathew’s arrest in Hannah Graham several days ago.

However, in order to dispel any further speculation, I will be meeting in the coming days with investigators in the Murphy case to address the concerns outlined in Mr. Hallahan’s recent letter. Even though the evidence on Randy Taylor and Randy Taylor alone in the Alexis Murphy case is clear, the Commonwealth will make sure that scientific testing is done in order to bring closure to the speculation.

Taylor was convicted of Murphy’s murder, even though her body was never found.

Jesse Matthew

Jesse Matthew

DNA links Matthew to Morgan Harrington Case

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.

Officials at Christopher Newport University confirmed they opened a disciplinary file on Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr.  for a reported sexual assault that happened in 2003, when he was briefly a student there and a member of the football team.

Matthew, age 32, is currently charged in the abduction, with intent to defile, of missing University of Virginia second-year student Hannah Graham.

Matthew attended the CNU from January 2003 through October 15, 2003. He was a member of the football team from August 14 to Sept. 12, 2003.

“Students don’t usually leave in the second month of the semester or leave the football team within a month,” wrote a university official in a press release.

There is a single file related to Matthew at CNU. However, the University said they are withholding this record pursuant to the exception from mandatory disclosure, in cooperation with law-enforcement agencies.

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.

Incidents Jesse Matthew Jr.  has been connected to:

  • Oct. 17, 2002 – Alleged sexual assault at Liberty University
  • Sept. 7, 2003 – Reported CNU assault
  • Sept. 24, 2005 – Northern Virginia rape (forensic evidence linked to Morgan Harrington case)
  • Oct. 17, 2009 – Morgan Harrington disappearance
  • Sept. 13, 2014 – Hannah Graham disappearance

Law enforcement investigating cases for possible connection to Matthew:

  • July 24, 2003 — Autumn Day in Newport News
  • Sept. 7, 2003 – Sophia Rivera in Newport News
  • August 26, 2009 – Heidi Childs and David Metzler, in Blacksburg
  • Oct. 10, 2009 – Cassandra Morton, not far from Lynchburg
  • Sept. 13, 2010 – Samantha Clarke, in Orange County

Cases unsolved in the area near Charlottesville 

  • Jan. 24, 2010 – Joan Cook, Roanoke County
  • Nov. 21, 2011 — Lauren Smith, Madison County
  • Nov. 20, 2012 — Dashad Sage Smith, Charlottesville
  • August 3, 2013 – Alexis Murphy, Shipman (Randy Taylor jailed for this, body never found)

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.

35 comments

  • em

    While you’re at it, test my DNA too. What is the likelihood that Randy Taylor is NOT GUILTY—after he tried to make a plea deal with the Murphy family to reveal where he dumped Alexis’ body in order to reduce his prison sentence. I guess that every abduction case in Virginia will yield someone that he can ask to have tested to see if they too had something to do with her murder. How about he tell us where he put Samantha Clarke (the OTHER teen he just happened to be accused of abducting). Please don’t waste any more taxpayer money trying to pass the blame for his handy work to anyone else… Jesse Matthews has his own serial killings to answer for. Any other serial killers lurking in the mountainous regions of Virginia will get caught too. Time will tell for these creeps.

  • Paula

    It don’t matter if Matthew did had something to do with ms murphy rat face randy still is guilty.Randy lawyer should be ashame of his self helping that animal. It no matter who help randy he still going to hell.

    • athynz

      So you are saying that it does not matter of Jessie Matthew’s DNA is found in Alexis Murphy’s car Randy Taylor is still guilty of her murder? I was one of those who thought Taylor was not guilty – at least until his lawyer said that Taylor could show where Murphy’s body was. However if the unidentified DNA in Murphy’s car is Mathew’s then he has some explaining to do.

      • Joey B

        It would appear that with the overwhelming abundance of physical evidence against Taylor, as delineated in the above article, Taylor would still be deemed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yes, guilty regardless if Matthew’s DNA were discovered in the case and even if Matthew admitted guilt. Do you seriously believe one, and only one, person can be guilty of murdering an individual?

      • athynz

        “JOEY B
        It would appear that with the overwhelming abundance of physical evidence against Taylor, as delineated in the above article, Taylor would still be deemed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

        Indeed. He was deemed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on the information available at the time.

        “Yes, guilty regardless if Matthew’s DNA were discovered in the case and even if Matthew admitted guilt. Do you seriously believe one, and only one, person can be guilty of murdering an individual?”

        Not at all – however if Matthew’s DNA is found in the car it does cause some small doubt about Taylor’s guilt. After all knowing where the body is and causing it to be there are two different things. Is it so impossible to believe that Taylor knows where Murphy’s body is but is not the one who killed her? I’m not saying he didn’t do it or was not involved in it – I believed him to be innocent until he told the court that he knew where the body was and would show them for a reduced sentence.

      • David

        Joey B. Don’t waste your time commenting logically to athynz. As you see athynz is not the brightest crayon in the box. He never has anything cogent or intelligent to say. He is merely an attention hog. Enough said.

      • athynz

        “DAVID
        Joey B. Don’t waste your time commenting logically to athynz.”

        Don’t tell him what to do David.

        “As you see athynz is not the brightest crayon in the box.”

        Obviously David is an intellectual and is always spot on when commenting on the topic at hand… oh wait, he never comments on the topic and hand and is never spot on. Whoops.

        “He never has anything cogent or intelligent to say. He is merely an attention hog.”

        If so then why do you keep on commenting on every single post I make? David you are the attention hog – it’s sad that you are so lonely you crave every bit of attention you can get even the negative attention that comes from being an oh-so-brave keyboard warrior.

        “Enough said.”

        If only that were true but you’ll keep right on with the stalking and the cries for attention.Now please keep quiet adults are speaking here.

  • Mz Z

    How about… ‘Tell us where Alexis’ body is Randy, and then we’ll test for other DNA..’ hmm? Dumba$$!

  • Terra

    What about a connection between Cassandra Morton and Randy Taylor??? Why is this being overlooked? She went missing in his neck of the woods.

  • Frank Galton

    It’s not unreasonable to think that these two low-lifes knew each other, bound by the drug culture. Matthew matches Taylor’s description of a large black man with dreadlocks who was with him and the murdered girl the night she died. Both could be guilty in that case.

  • SL

    If you read the above article again, it says; Within days after Randy Taylor’s arrest for abduction of Alexis Murphy, Randy Taylor and Mr. Hallahan, his attorney, were 100% certain that the black male that Alexis Murphy left with was Dameon Bradley, a thin light-skinned black male, who drove a maroon Chevy caprice. Mr. Hallahan provided law enforcement with a photo of Dameon Bradley who looks absolutely nothing like Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. Dameon. That was RAT’s description and not one large black man with dreadlocks

  • DCB514

    This is definitely expected. This guy has the best defense attorney since Johnny Cochran. I am surprised that with all the evidence listed the judge approved the request. Unfortunately, it will be a waste of time and money and will not change the outcome. Recent reports have shownb hat they cannot even link the Matthew to this Hannah girls disappearnce. We will see the out come if this waste of time and this guy should have to get more time for lying.

  • Paula

    Are they checking Randy’s dna also to see if he have any connection to the other women? He was aroung the area as well as jessie.

      • athynz

        David my opinions are for more necessary than your moronic observations. If you put as much effort into learning something as you do in following people around online forums and insulting them you might actually learn how to be something than an cowardly troll who works street corners.

      • David

        fat boy blowhard athynz, most people know more at twelve years of age than you ever have or will. sorry that you are too dense to understand how stupid you really are.

      • athynz

        “DAVID
        fat boy blowhard athynz, most people know more at twelve years of age than you ever have or will. sorry that you are too dense to understand how stupid you really are.”

        Then all you have to do is something I’ve asked you to do from the beginning of your stalking me – prove me wrong. None of your lame wanna-be insults just tell me how I’m wrong. It’s just that simple. However all you’ll do is the same caca you always do – post yet another trolling post.

      • David

        athynz it did not take more than a few rebuttal comments from you early on to definitively ascertain that you do not have the tools to comprehend and understand basic logic. It is a total waste of effort for me to debate or educate you on any issue. The descriptive terms which you claim are insults from me are unbiased merely facts. There is nothing to gain from insulting you.

      • athynz

        “athynz it did not take more than a few rebuttal comments from you early on to definitively ascertain that you do not have the tools to comprehend and understand basic logic.”

        You are right – however no one has the tools necessary to comprehend and understand the logic in your world.

        “It is a total waste of effort for me to debate or educate you on any issue.”

        Typical – IOW David you lack the intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, and common sense to address any of these issues. The best you can do is deflect and insult.

        “The descriptive terms which you claim are insults from me are unbiased merely facts.”

        Oh, of course – “unbiased facts”… right. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

        “There is nothing to gain from insulting you.”

        Then why do it – other than for the negative attention you know will come your way. Are you so very desperate for any sort of real interaction and attention that you chose to troll the internet? Perhaps you ought to seek professional help.

      • David

        athynz … you have just validated everything I said. You are simply not smart enough to know how really stupid you are. That is one sign of the lack of a critical education. No doubt you never have had, nor will have, any position requiring hard decisions. You could spend your time more productively educating yourself instead of this silly comment game you play for attention. No, I get no attention from my comments because no one knows my identity. Your identity, however, is well known.

      • athynz

        “DAVID
        athynz … you have just validated everything I said.”

        Not at all – I simply validated your lack of education, common sense, and common courtesy. As well as illustrated your pathological need for attention.

        “You are simply not smart enough to know how really stupid you are.”

        Actually old boy you are the one with that particular issue.

        “That is one sign of the lack of a critical education.”

        Again wrong.

        “No doubt you never have had, nor will have, any position requiring hard decisions.”

        Wrong again. I’ve made plenty of hard decisions in my time in both my work life and home life.

        “You could spend your time more productively educating yourself instead of this silly comment game you play for attention.”

        I’m not the one following you around and slinging insults. If that’s what you consider a trait of critical education perhaps you ought to go back to the school you attended and get your money back.

        “No, I get no attention from my comments because no one knows my identity. Your identity, however, is well known.”

        You have a name – that’s it. You know nothing else about me. But go ahead oh brave one – post what you know about me and also have the cajones to post your name. But let’s say you are right – then why do you follow me around and comment on every single post I make? The obvious answer would be to get some sort of twisted recognition or some form of attention.

      • David

        athynz. Oh you really put me in my place with your wisdom and focused intellect. Not.
        Even you can’t really believe your song about wanting attention (or more appropriately approval) from this bunch of posters. But don’t fret. There is no doubt that this site will continue to limit comment sections until they are proscribed. You will have to play your game somewhere less public.

    • athynz

      Ms. Richmond that is a grave insult to uneducated redneck trailer park residents everywhere. I had to stop referring to David as a liberal progressive because it’s an insult to them as well for that troll to be associated with them. I’m not sure if he thinks it’s funny to follow people around and insult them or it’s that he has some sort of pathological need for attention.

    • David

      Ms Richmond you have confused me with your typical low life republican friends. You apparently have the same level of intellect and egotism as fat athynz.

  • Paula

    Aww Dudhead David you just upset that we don’t agrre with you and your comment is being laugh at. Athynz & I will let you play in our sandbox but you have to promise that you will not pick in your nose like you did the last time.lol lol.

    • athynz

      David is like that one kid who gets his feelings hurt at the least little thing and runs home to momma carrying his ball… I think it’s funny how he’s latched on to me. I guess it’s because I keep on feeding the troll…

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