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Killer Jesse Matthew moved from Sussex I State Prison to Richmond hospital

Posted at 5:57 PM, Dec 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-12 23:24:02-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., the man responsible for murdering Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington and University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, has been moved from Sussex I State Prison to a hospital in Richmond.

Gil Harrington, whose daughter was abducted and murdered by Matthew in October 2009, was alerted Saturday afternoon by corrections officials that Matthew was moved from the prison to "MCV Hospital Security Care and remains in the custody and control of the Virginia Department of Corrections."

"We are not sure exactly why he was transferred from the maximum security prison," reporter Laura French said in a Facebook update Saturday evening. "He does remain in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections, so they have a very secure area within the hospital where he is getting care."

VCU Medical Center, which is 43 miles from Sussex I State Prison, houses a “Secure Care Unit” for inmates with medical needs, including chemotherapy.

Gil Harrington: 'We are not invested in retribution'

"Though I do appreciate updates on the status of Jesse Matthew, we are not interested in learning about his inevitable demise," Harrington wrote. "We are not invested in retribution. What we wanted was to have Jesse Matthew, the Back to School Killer, stopped. That has been accomplished. His horrific crime spree is over.

"We have worked determinedly since Morgan’s murder to protect other young women, and their families, from the anguish we suffered at the hands of Jesse Matthew. We are incredibly committed to education, victim outreach, and legislative activism, as we try to Help Save The Next Girl."

Matthew has stage 4 colon cancer

The 38-year-old inmate was previously moved from Red Onion State Prison in Wise County to Sussex I State Prison in Waverly in May of 2019, so he could receive medical treatment for stage 4 colon cancer.

The prison where Matthew was previously incarcerated was a “supermax” facility, considered to be one of the most secure in the United States.

Matthew first disclosed his diagnosis during a phone interview with CBS 6 conducted on May 8.

“I just now found out that I have cancer,” Matthew said.

He wouldn’t provide any additional details, but Harrington says that officials have informed her that Matthew has stage four colon cancer, meaning the disease has spread to distant parts of the body.

Prior to his diagnosis, Matthew had spent more than three years at Red Onion. He was taken there in March 2016, shortly after pleading guilty to the murders of Harrington and Graham.

As part of his plea, Matthew received four life prison terms without the possibility of parole or geriatric release.

Matthew was arrested in late September 2014, nearly two weeks after Graham vanished from Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. He was captured near Galveston, Texas. Investigators believed he was planning to leave the country.

A few days later, CBS 6 was first to report that forensic evidence linked Matthew to both the Graham and Harrington murders. Matthew’s DNA would also tie him to the 2005 rape of a woman in Fairfax.

During the phone interview with CBS 6, Matthew was evasive when asked if he was sorry for the crimes he had committed.

“I don’t think I can answer that question right now truthfully,” Matthew said. “Maybe in another interview.”

Ahead of his sentencing in the Fairfax case, Matthew’s former girlfriend sent a letter to the judge, claiming that he was raped when he was a child, and she believed that likely played a role in the crimes he had committed.

Matthew said that letter was accurate.
“Yes, but I don’t want to talk about that right now.”