Bond hearing canceled for Jesse Matthew, Hannah Graham abduction suspect

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A bond hearing for the man accused of abducting missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham has been canceled.

Jim Camblos, Matthew’s attorney, said Wednesday that he will not ask for Matthew to be released on bond. As a result, Matthew’s preliminary hearing on the abduction charge is slated for Dec. 4.

“The court has received a letter of representation and paperwork requesting a continuance from Mr. Matthew’s attorney,” Charlottesville Communications Director Miriam I. Dickler wrote in a media release.

However, Matthew is still scheduled for a 9 a.m. hearing on two reckless driving charges in Albemarle General District Court. He will appear by video.

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.

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.

Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham

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.

12 comments

    • marie

      Lies? Are you serious. This guy is a sociopath, (r)apist, and murderer. So, yes, They are getting their CASE straight so that there’s no possibility for him to see the light of day over ANY type of technicality.

    • vastly amused

      Are you the same person who posted a claim in another forum that this investigation is racially driven?
      And which side are you claiming needs time to “get the lies straight”?

  • Nancy Solomon

    I think the request for a continuance from his lawyer is a ploy to buy time so they can do the following: discuss the charges and any evidence; decide whether to request a psychiatric evaluation on Mr. Matthew; and to delay the hearing several weeks hoping that things calm down and public interest has waned in the matter by the time of the December date. I don’t think anyone should be surprised by the request or the fact that it was granted. It gives the defense time to work with what they have and to explore how receptive the state might be to a plea deal. I suspect this is all strategy that is commonly employed by experienced criminal defense attorneys.

    • EMBuckles

      Yes, ma’am, looks to me like standard defense lawyer tactics. It will likely take a while, however, if the prosecution has all their ducks in a row and if he actually IS the one involved with these cases, they can and will nail him.

    • lisa

      It is fact that Jesse’s DNA matches the 2009 victim. I am sure he knows this by now. Her parents were told this. Just time to match it to Hannah’s.

  • Working Man

    I want to say something about this, I hope it offends nobody. Had that girl victim at Liberty U in 2002 pursued charges against Matthew like she should have, we may not be at this point now. Something to consider. I’ll be there’s upwards of 2-dozen victims of this guy since then.

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