ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly six years after Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington went missing, her alleged killer has been charged with her abduction and murder.
Yesterday, the Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney charged Jesse Matthew Jr. with first degree murder and abduction with the intent to defile Harrington. The maximum penalty for each offense is life in prison.
Matthew was arraigned in Albemarle County on Wednesday in a hearing that lasted about eight minutes. A judge appointed his attorneys, which are the same lawyers representing him in the case.
Harrington’s mother, Gil Harrington, spoke after Matthew’s arraignment. You can watch a recap of her statement here.
Harrington disappeared while attending a concert at the John Paul Jones Arena in October 2009. Her body was found months later by a farmer in Albemarle County.
Morgan Harrington’s parents say they are relieved.
“I’m not an vindictive person but I am grateful that the dominoes of consequence are starting to topple over for Jesse Matthew,” Gil Harrington said.
Matthew is now accused of attacking three women over the past 10 years, killing two of them.
In June, Matthew was convicted of sexually assaulting and attempting to kill the woman in the Fairfax County case. He is scheduled to be sentenced for those offenses Oct. 2.
Matthew is also scheduled to stand trial for the disappearance and death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham next summer.
The former hospital worker and cab driver also was accused of sexually assaulting students at Liberty University and Christopher Newport University when he was a defensive lineman on their football teams more than a decade ago. Those cases were dropped when the women declined to prosecute, officials have said.
is due back in court for both and cases on September 30.
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