Graham abduction suspect played and coached football - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Graham abduction suspect played and coached football


The suspect in Hannah Graham's disappearance, Jesse Matthew, played semi-pro football in Charlottesville and even coached football at a Christian high school. New video of Matthew on the field shows him coaching just hours before the 18 year old went missing.

The coach says whether Matthew committed the crime or not, he should head to the police department and turn himself in.

"I've seen this young man since the time he was 12 to the time that he is now," the coach who doesn't want to be identified said.

He coached abduction suspect Jesse Matthew for semi-pro football team, the Virginia Silverbacks.

"He was a very respectful young man. Sometimes, I'm a screamer but he never responded in a negative way. He just took the coaching criticism and kept it moving," he said.

The team's online roster lists Matthew's name. Turns out, the suspect's love for football even led him to The Covenant Christian school where he coached high school players.

"As a coach, he's a good guy. I didn't suspect anything, seems religious, caring guy as a coach…I expected more from him. I didn't think he would've done any of that," said Nathan Minic who played for Matthew.

The suspect also drove a taxi cab in the past.

"It has come to our attention that Jesse Matthew was previously a driver for Yellow Cab Co., a precursor to Yellow Cab of Charlottesville. As his employment came prior to our purchase of the company in 2012, and in fact dates back two ownership groups, we are unable to provide the exact dates, or the details of his employment with the company. On a separate note, we have been working closely with all local, state and federal authorities involved in the Hannah Graham case, including using our extensive passenger safety-based technology to provide all the information we possibly can that might relate to the case. We share with the entire community our profound hope for a positive resolution," the Yellow Cab Company said in a statement.

"Guilty or innocent I think this young man should come in, turn himself in, be respectful understand that his family is worried about him, understand there are people who care about him, understand there are people out here who work with him who want to believe him but if you don't do the right thing and turn yourself in, guess what a lot of people are going to say? ‘He's guilty'," the coach added.

The Covenant school says Matthew is no longer a coach there. State Police have received multiple reports of possible sightings of the suspect, including in Richmond - but officers say none of them proved to be true.

The UVA Hospital where Matthew worked as an operating room technician, has suspended him without pay.

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