CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Jesse Matthew will appear in a Charlottesville courtroom one week from Wednesday, but this time on a charge of murder. During Tuesday's announcement that he's been charged in the death of UVA student Hannah Graham, officials said Matthew will appear via video conference.
Charlottesville has set aside its abduction charges so that the entire case will proceed through Albemarle County courts. The murder indictment was served to Matthew while behind bars in Fairfax, where he's being held on a separate sexual assault charge.
In Charlottesville, the case has been on the hearts and minds of the community for months. For Albemarle Police, the investigation into the disappearance and death of Graham is over. Matthew now faces 1st degree murder.
"I'm not going to discuss the specific facts and circumstances that led to this decision for ethical reasons. However, understand a great deal of serious thought went into this determination including the impact on the community, the Grahams, and the need to provide Mr. Matthew with a fair trial," said prosecutor Denise Lunsford.
"I think it was just a matter of time. I don't think it was a very big surprise," said Charlottesville resident Chris Johnson.
"I hope they throw the book at him," resident Deborah Henderson added.
Authorities have said Matthew's DNA links him to the 2009 death of Morgan Harrington.
"There are no pending charges against Mr. Matthew in reference to Morgan Harrington. Each investigation takes its own course. Law enforcement has been working diligently in all of these matters and the simple fact is the case involving Hannah Graham was ready to be charged first," Lunsford added.
"I got two daughters of my own. It ain't right," Henderson said.
As for the Fairfax case, a trial date is expected to be set Friday.