Hannah Graham suspect Jesse Matthew indicted for Fairfax rape

Posted at 2:28 PM, Oct 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-21 00:54:12-04

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Hannah Graham abduction suspect Jesse Matthew Jr. was indicted Monday in connection with a 2005 rape in Fairfax, Virginia.

A grand jury indicted Matthew for three counts of attempted capital murder, abduction and sexual penetration with an object,according to documents filed in Fairfax City Circuit Court.

The indictment spells out the three felony charges against Matthew.

“On or about the 24th day of September, 2005, in the City of Fairfax, Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. did feloniously, willfully, deliberately, intentionally and with premeditation attempt to kill R.G. in the commission of or subsequent to an abduction with the intent to defile," the first count against Matthew reads.

The second count says that Matthew “did feloniously abduct R.G. with the intent to defile.” The third count states that Matthew penetrated the victim “against her will, by force, threat or intimidation.”

“We will be asking for a bench warrant, and I suspect that relatively soon after that Mr. Matthew will be brought here.” Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh said.

Morrogh pointed out that it is possible to transport defendants back and forth from various courthouses.

The police chief said that very few details could be released in regards to the evidence in the case.

“We simply cannot comment on the investigation and the evidence in this case,” Fairfax City Police Carl Chief Pardiny said.

Chief Pardiny did thank investigators for their hard work on this case, over the past nine years.

The woman was attacked on Sept. 24, 2005, near a gazebo as she walked home from a grocery store.

Diane Jenkins says she vividly remembers the victim knocking on her door, bloodied and disheveled.  "I remember she had sticks in her hair with grass and leaves,” said Jenkins.  “She had scratches and was confused, and she didn't speak English."

“The victim is grateful to the lead detective who has kept in touch with her," Pardiny said, and added that "she is grateful the case will go forward."

And the people living in Fairfax hope this is truly an end to one of the most notorious unsolved crimes in their area.

"He must just be a monster kind of guy,” said Jenkins.  “Especially if he's raped and killed so many.  Just awful. I'm glad they caught him."

Jenkins says soon after the attacks, her homeowners’ association came in and cleared brush and installed lights.

But that wasn't enough for her; she moved about three miles away, but says she often thinks about the victim and hopes they have the right man.

Virginia State Police focus on other cases — any possible connections

Over the weekend, crews searching for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham discovered human remains. The remains were taken to the Medical Examiners Office in Richmond for positive identification.

The remains were discovered on an abandoned Albemarle County property that sits four miles from a home where Matthew and his mother once lived.

The Chesterfield Sheriff’s Department sergeant who discovered the remains said he believed God wanted them to find what they found.

“I don’t know how else to explain it,” Sgt. Dale Terry said. “Something inside me just told me to continue to look.”

While the search for Graham is paramount for the Charlottesville Police Department, solving the abduction and killing of Morgan Harrington, a Virginia Tech student who went missing in October 2009, is a priority for the Virginia State Police.

Late last month, CBS 6 reporter Laura French broke the news that Matthew was linked to Harrington's  2009 abduction and murder.

French reported that those close to Matthew in 2009 informed investigators they would joke with Matthew that he resembled a sketch of the man linked to the 2005 Fairfax rape — and therefore the man linked to Harrington. They said Matthew would at times brush it off. But at other times, they said Matthew would get visibly upset and disappear for hours.

Local Yellow Cab owner Mark Brownsaid his cabbies who knew Matthew say he was driving a cab the night Harrington went missing. Matthew held a taxi cab license in the city of Charlottesville from 2005 to 2010. A source close to the case confirmed that police recently impounded the cab Matthew was allegedly driving the night Harrington disappeared.

The Virginia State Police said they “will release new information at a time and in a manner that does not jeopardize the integrity of this ongoing, complex criminal investigation.”

Jesse Matthew Jr. aka LJ was first named as a person of interest six days after Hannah Graham was last seen.

Jesse Matthew Jr. aka LJ was first named as a person of interest six days after Hannah Graham was last seen.

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 follows his 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:

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

Law enforcement investigating cases for possible connection to Matthew:

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

Cases unsolved in the area near Charlottesville 

  • Jan. 24, 2010 – Joan Cook, Roanoke County
  • Nov. 21, 2011 — Lauren Smith, Madison County
  • Nov. 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.

This is a developing story.