Jesse Matthew to Enter Guilty Pleas in Murder Cases of Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington

Morgan Harrington, Jesse Matthew, and Hannah Graham, left to right. (Photos: WJLA/AP)
Morgan Harrington, Jesse Matthew, and Hannah Graham, left to right. (Photos: WJLA/AP)

The Charlottesville man facing murder charges in the slayings of two college women is expected to plead guilty this week, according two people familiar with the negotiations. 

Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 33, is scheduled to appear in Albemarle County on Wednesday and expected to enter pleas involving Hannah Graham, a University of Virginia sophomore who was found dead in 2014, and Morgan Harrington, a Virginia Tech student whose body was discovered in a field in Albemarle County in 2010.

Matthew faced the possibility of the death penalty in the Graham case and he was scheduled for trial in the slaying of Harrington next year.

In a letter to the media, Albemarle County commonwealth attorney Robert N. Tracci wrote that Matthew “will be entering pleas of guilty to resolve both the Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington abduction and murder cases.” A Charlottesville-area NBC affiliate, WVIR, first posted the letter. Tracci did not return calls for comment about the letter. Administrators in the prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

Douglas Ramseur, the public defender assigned to Matthew, also declined to comment.

Gil Harrington, whose daughter went missing in Charlottesville after a Metallica concert in 2009 and was found dead months later, said that she spoke to officials in the prosecutor’s office who confirmed that Matthew intended to enter the pleas.

“I’ve known that this eventuality was in the works and that both sides were working towards this as a logical outcome,” Harrington said Monday.

Source: The Washington Post | T. Rees Shapiro