New Motions Filed in Jesse Matthew Capital Murder Case

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Jesse Matthew’s defense team filed a slew of new motions in his capital murder case. He's accused of murdering UVA student Hannah Graham last year.

Matthew is accused of abducting University of Virginia student Hannah 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 County.

Jesse Matthew’s defense team filed 12 motions in the case late Wednesday afternoon in Albemarle Circuit Court. Thursday is the deadline for filing motions ahead of a pretrial motions hearing next month. The motions filed Wednesday deal with evidence leading up to the trial and what the defense wants at trial.

The 33-year-old is charged with capital murder in connection with Graham's death. He faces the death penalty if convicted and that's why we're seeing so many of these motions being filed in this case. Legal experts say the defense is trying to save Matthew’s life while laying the groundwork for an appeal. 

Experts say the latest motions are routine. The 12 motions filed include: 

  • Motion invoking Matthew's 4th, 5th and 6th amendment rights specifically not to speak to law enforcement, the prosecutor, the attorney general's office and other government agencies.
  • Motion for Matthew to be present at every hearing.
  • Motion asking for Matthew to not be shackled in public and appear in his personal attire during the trial.
  • Motion to bar tokens or insignia of support for either side during trial.
  • Motion to appoint judge to hear expert funding requests. 
  • Motion to preserve all evidence, including biological evidence, physical evidence collected from crime scene and alleged weapons among others.
  • Motion to preserve law enforcement notes.
  • Motion to stop any additional state evidence testing or examination without notifying the defense for approval.
  • Motion to have notice of parts of Jesse Matthew's criminal past planned for use during any sentencing hearing.
  • Motion for particulars on statutory aggravators the commonwealth would use at a capital sentencing.
  • Motion to examine evidence without the prosecutor or investigators present.
  • Motion to prohibit extrajudicial statements including any talk of a guilty plea and other matters by lawyers. 

The commonwealth's attorney has two weeks to reply to the new motions.  A 1:30 p.m. motions hearing is set for August 20 at Albemarle County Circuit Court.

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