Charlottesville Steps Aside in Jesse Matthew Case

Posted: Updated: Apr 09, 2015 06:12 PM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville withdraws a felony charge against the man accused of killing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Thursday, Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman "nolle prossed" one charge of kidnapping with the intent to defile against 33-year-old Jesse Matthew. 

Charlottesville's prosecutor's office voluntarily withdrew that specific charge against Matthew because an identical charge is being pursued in Albemarle County's prosecution of Matthew. The move helps prevents a 5th Amendment violation of Matthew's rights because of the legal overlap.

Jim Camblos, Matthew's attorney, did not object to the motion.

Matthew, who appeared via video uplink, nodded his head in acknowledgment when asked by Judge Robert Downer Jr. if he understood what happened. Camblos told his client in court that he will see him Friday to discuss the situation.

Matthew is accused of abducting Graham from Charlottesville's Downtown Mall in September 2014 and killing her. Her body was found in a wooded area off of Old Lynchburg Road in southern Albemarle, giving the county jurisdiction in the greater grouping of charges.

He is currently held at the Albemarle - Charlottesville Regional Jail.

Public release from Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman:

Having verified that Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. has been charged in Albemarle County with the offense of abduction with the intent to defile as a result of events that allegedly occurred on September 13, 2014 in connection with the disappearance and death of Hannah Graham, the prosecution of him in the City of Charlottesville for that offense is duplicative and likely become barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. As a result, the Commonwealth has filed with the Charlottesville District Court a request for the entry of an order of nolle prosequi in Mr. Matthew's pending case in the City.

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