CHARLOTTESVILLE – A judge has scheduled a three-week jury trial for Jesse Matthew, the former hospital worker charged with abducting and killing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, reports CBS affiliate WCAV.
The trial is set to begin June 29.Matthew, 33, appeared via video feed Wednesday morning in Albemarle County Circuit Court. It was his first court appearance since being indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the Graham case this month.
He had also been charged with abduction with intent to defile, or sexually assault, the 18-year-old Graham. Both charges carry a possible life sentence if he’s convicted.
Matthew was the last person seen with Graham, who disappeared after a night out with friends last September. Her remains were found in a rural area five weeks later.
Matthew’s family appeared in court for the hearing, reports WCAV.
Matthew’s private attorney, Jim Camblos, requested to have an additional defense attorney assigned because of the “voluminous” amount of evidence in the case, reports the station. A judge appointed a public defender to assist him.
Matthew is expected to return to court on March 4, when a judge will reportedly rule whether witness subpoenas should be sealed in the case. Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford plans to call 52 witnesses for the prosecution, reports the Washington Post.
Authorities say forensic evidence has also linked Matthew to their investigation of the 2009 disappearance and death of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. Matthew has not been charged in that case.
Matthew also faces charges including attempted murder in an unrelated 2005 rape in Virginia’s Fairfax County.