University of Virginia student Hannah Graham murder trial will start in the summer

Judge sets trial date after Jesse Matthew sees charges added

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The Independent US

The trial of the man accused of killing British University of Virginia student Hannah Graham will begin on 29 June and is set to last about three weeks, the Washington Post reported.

Jesse Matthew has been charged with first degree murder and authorities say he was the last person seen with Ms Graham in the early morning hours of 13 September, after she left a party near the University of Virginia campus.

Surveillance cameras captured her walking on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall and witnesses have told investigators that she was seen at a bar with Mr Matthew.

Investigators found Ms Graham's body in October in a wooded area of Albemarle County, Virginia.

The defendant initially was charged with abduction with intent to defile – meaning intent to sexually assault – but prosecutors last week added a first-degree murder charge, saying that forensic evidence linked Mr Matthew to Ms Graham’s body.

James Camblos, who has represented Mr Matthew since his arrest in late September, was appointed as Mr Matthew’s counsel. Mr Camblos was appointed co-counsel, after the attorney said he would need help in the case considering the evidence against his client. The prosecution is expected to call on as many as 52 witnesses.

Pre-trial motions have been scheduled for 4 March.

Mr Matthew also is facing charges in a 2005 incident in which he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman, leaving her grievously wounded. Prosecutors in that case say they found Mr Matthew’s DNA under the woman’s fingernails. He has pleaded not guilty and that trial is set to start 8 June.


Foillow Payton Guion on Twitter @PaytonGuion.