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Jesse Matthew Lawyers Seek to Ban Media at Pretrial Hearing

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Jesse Matthew Jesse Matthew
FAIRFAX, Va. (WVIR) - Lawyers for the man charged with killing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham want a judge to ban reporters from a pretrial hearing in a separate case.

Thirty-three-year-old Jesse Matthew is charged in Fairfax with attempted capital murder and sexual assault stemming from a 2005 case.  He is charged in the Fairfax attack, and in a separate case with Graham's death.

The victim in the Fairfax case is expected to testify at a pretrial hearing Thursday.  The hearing is to determine whether the victim can reliably identify Matthew as her attacker. 

Matthew's lawyers believe her recollection of the decade-old attack has been corrupted by pretrial publicity that has frequently shown Matthew's photo.

In a motion filed this week, Matthew's lawyers requested to ban reporters from Thursday's hearing, saying press coverage just days before his scheduled jury trial will taint the juror pool. The defense says that press coverage will annihilate Matthews' chance for a fair trial which starts on Monday.

The defense also wants details about Matthews' connection to Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington's case kept from the jury.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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