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Judge Partially Unseals Records in Jesse Matthew Fairfax Case

Posted: Updated: Mar 06, 2015 04:15 PM
File Photo: Jesse Matthew File Photo: Jesse Matthew
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - A judge has partially unsealed the court file in the Fairfax sexual assault and attempted capital murder case against Jesse Matthew.  

Thirty-three-year-old Jesse Matthew of Charlottesville is charged in Fairfax with attempted murder and sexual assault of a woman in 2005. He is also charged in Albemarle County with the abduction and murder of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham in September 2014.

Both cases have drawn extensive pretrial publicity. In Fairfax, the judge had ordered the entire court file to be sealed in response to defense lawyers' concerns about Matthew's ability to get a fair trial.

A coalition of media companies, including The Associated Press, argued Friday that sealing the file violates constitutional guarantees of a public trial.

The judge ruled that some pretrial filings can be open, but is keeping other documents under seal.

A jury trial in Fairfax is scheduled for June.  The Fairfax case is expected to be heard before Matthew's first degree murder trial in Albemarle County. The Albemarle County trial was delayed earlier this week, attorneys hope to set a new trial date on May 5.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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