Attorney asks for mental evaluation of UVa. student abduction suspect Jesse Matthew Jr.

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FAIRFAX, Va. – The man accused of kidnapping University of Virginia student Hannah Graham appeared in a Fairfax court for a 2005 sexual assault charge.

Jesse Matthew Jr., in a black and white jumpsuit and with his attorney Jim Camblos sitting next to him, appeared in court via video arraignment at 8:30 a.m. from the Albemarle County Regional Jail where he has been held since Sept. 26.

Matthew was indicted for attempted capital murder, abduction with intent to defile, and sexual penetration with an object for allegedly sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman almost 10 years ago. The forensic evidence in that case has been linked to the case of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, whose remains were found in 2010, a little over five miles from where the remains of Graham were found on Oct. 18.

Camblos was appointed co-counsel by Judge Dennis J. Smith who ruled Matthew would be represented by public defender Todd Petit, according to WUSA.  Smith, according to the WUSA report, said he wanted two attorneys to help accommodate a speedy trial [WATCH: Lawyer for Jesse Matthew, suspect in Hannah Graham’s disappearance, goes off on reporter].

Camblos requested that Matthew undergo a psychiatric evaluation, according to WCAV.

The Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney said there could be more charges for Matthew now that Graham’s remains have been positively identified.

His next court hearing for the Hannah Graham case is scheduled for December 4.

camblos and matthew 2

The last hours Hannah was seen

On the evening of Sept. 12, she was seen at a party before friends saw her at an apartment complex a couple of blocks away. That was shortly before midnight. About 12:45 a.m. on Sept. 13, a surveillance camera caught her outside of a pub, about three-quarters of a mile from the apartment complex.

Other surveillance cameras captured her, as she ran past a gas station, walked past an Italian cafe and then by a jewelry store. These cameras capture her route along the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with shops and restaurants.

The cameras also showed a man, later identified as Jesse Matthew Jr., first follow Graham and then put his arm around her as they walked toward the Tempo Bar, where reports said Matthew had been earlier in the evening.

At 1:20 a.m., Graham texted her friends to say she was lost and trying to find a party. She and a man said to be Matthew were seen having drinks at a bar between 1:30 and 2 a.m., though the bar denies she was ever inside.

Police believe she may have been under the influence of alcohol, making her less able to defend herself.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 13, police said more surveillance cameras  showed Graham leaving the Tempo Bar area around 2 a.m. Matthew is believed to be the last person who saw Graham alive.

He was named a person of interest after police conducted a search of his vehicle and then his home. Once forensic evidence returned, a warrant was issued charging him with the abduction of Graham, with intent to defile.

Authorities later found Matthew 1,300 miles away camping on a beach in Galveston, Texas. The 32-year-old Matthew was returned to Virginia and charged.

What is known about Jesse Matthew? 

The day after Jesse Matthew was named a person of interest in Graham’s disappearance, he went into Charlottesville Police Headquarters and asked to secure a lawyer. He did, and then he left the building without speaking to police. He reportedly sped away in his sister’s car, shaking the law enforcement detail overtly following him.

The next time police saw him, he was arrested in Galveston, Texas.

Early in the evening on the Friday that Graham disappeared, Matthew attended the Covenant Eagle’s football game, the team of a prestigious private school where he coached. That was after his work as an orderly at the UVa. Medical Hospital. An independently reported timeline followed Matthew’s steps throughout the evening the night Graham went missing.

In the report multiple women, and men, comment on the roughness of Matthew, which stands against other reports of his gentleness and laid back nature.

“He’s as gentle as they come,” said his dad, and 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.

There are also two instances when sexual assaults were alleged against Matthew, once at Liberty University and once at Christopher Newport University. The Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney said the alleged victim at Liberty did not want to prosecute. CNU officials said they are withholding his record pursuant to the exception from mandatory disclosure, in cooperation with law-enforcement agencies.

Matthew left each school shortly after both allegations were made; Liberty in Oct. 2002 and Christopher Newport in Sept. 2003.

Incidents Jesse Matthew Jr.  has been connected to:

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

Law enforcement investigating cases for possible connection to Matthew:

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

Cases unsolved in the area near Charlottesville 

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

Anyone with information about Jesse Matthew, Hannah Graham or Morgan Harrington is asked to call the tipline at 434-295-3851. All Hannah Graham surveillance videos can be seen here. All reports filed on this case can be found here.


  • X

    People won’t stand for letting this guy get locked up in a hospital for life. He is an Evil person and what he did to these girls is unspeakable. He needs to be put down like the sick animal he is.

  • Oh really?

    Has he ever sought mental health treatment before? Or is this just his fallback plan for the day he was caught? For insanity to work in court, he’d have to prove that he didn’t know right from wrong, and clearly he went through a lot of trouble to hide the girls’ bodies, grew his hair out when people thought he looked like the “wanted” poster, and ran to Texas when he was finally named. That seems to be a man who knew what he was doing all along. I think he’ll find that you need O.J.’s money and fame to get off, and that mental institution deals as sweet as John Hinckley’s are pretty much limited to Bush family friends… who also have the big bucks.

    • Jeremy Hennessee

      I think your comment is pretty well spot on Oh Really.
      He took several precautionary measures to avoid detection,
      and is too premeditative in his behaviors for anyone to take
      an insanity rap seriously. His lawyer just knows with all of the
      OVERWHELMING forensic evidence against him, the old “devil
      made me do it” defense is about all there is.

      As far as good and evil and other metaphysical fairyesque things..
      I leave that up to metaphysical scholars to debate. Putting the label
      of Monster on a killer really just lends a supernatural quality to their
      misdeeds and heightens the sense of accomplishment the investigators
      feel once they’re caught. (good for selling..NEWSPAPERS too..but thats
      a subject for another time.)

      At the end of the day Killers such as those who killed Harrington, Graham,
      and whomever else, are COWARDS who target those weaker than themselves
      because of various inadequacies real or imagined. Or because they’re
      Psychopathic/Sadistic and enjoy seeing painful reactions from other living

      They’re losers..not monsters. Abnormal/contributing to the negative..
      not classically evil in any metaphysical sense.

  • Heidi Abbott

    Good! White men claim “insanity” whenever they kill someone. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Aurora. The list goes on. I bet you if he was white then people would be saying he had a “mental” issue … but of course because he’s a black man that makes him a “monster.” So yeah, if white men can claim “insanity” then he should be able to also.

  • jim

    I can’t even guess what this guy did to these women that is so bad he felt murdering them was the best option he had available.

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