Jesse Matthew arraigned in Morgan Harrington case

Morgan Harrington (Source: NBC12)
Morgan Harrington (Source: NBC12)

ALBEMARLE, VA (WWBT) - Jesse Matthew, the man charged with abducting and murdering Hannah Graham, was in an Albemarle County courtroom Wednesday facing the same charges in the Morgan Harrington case.

Matthew is charged with first degree murder and abduction with the intent to defile. The maximum penalty he could receive for each offense is life in prison.

Harrington was a Virginia Tech student who disappeared on Oct. 17, 2009. She disappeared while attending a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.

Her remains were found at an Albemarle County farm in Jan. 2010.

"Something as heinous as taking someone's life should have consequences and today, finally, the domino cascade of consequences for Jesse Matthew's killing of Morgan Harrington has started," Morgan's mother, Gil Harrington, says.

The indictments issued were based upon "investigative efforts over the past six years by the Virginia State Police, Albemarle County Police, Charlottesville Police, the University of Virginia Police and the FBI."

"It's not bittersweet, it's odd. How can you celebrate the fact that there's confirmation your daughter was murdered by someone. We've known that, but it's not a fact to be celebrated," Gil says.

Kim Simmons of  'Help Save the Next Girl' lit candles along the Copely Bridge Tuesday night after the news broke.

"This is the day we've been waiting for. This is just so exciting," she says.

"I'm very pleased that the person accused of it is behind bars. He wont hurt anybody else," Gil says.

Police found forensic evidence linking Matthew to Harrington's death in Sept. 2014.  Matthew was also charged with abduction with intent to defile in the Hannah Graham case. Police eventually found him on a beach in Galveston, Texas, where he was arrested and extradited back to Virginia.

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