Statement of Facts Reveal New Details in Graham and Harrington Cases
In March 2016, statements of facts in the Morgan Harrington and Hannah Graham cases revealed new details about exactly what happened on the nights each girl was murdered by Jesse Matthew.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - We’re learning new details about exactly what happened on the nights Jesse Matthew murdered Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington.
Matthew admitted to abducting and murdering 18-year-old Graham, a University of Virginia student, back in September of 2014. Matthew also killed 20-year-old Harrington, who had disappeared after attending a concert in Charlottesville on October 17, 2009.
The court statements describe brutally violent deaths. A medical examiner found Harrington had numerous bone fractures and Graham had a broken nose. Matthew agreed that he strangled Graham.
At Wednesday’s plea agreement, convicted murderer Jesse Matthew agreed to a statement of facts in the Morgan Harrington and Hannah Graham cases.
Court documents in the Graham case walk through both Matthew’s and Graham's steps the night of her murder.
“Jesse Matthew was apparently going around to bars and being very aggressive and sexually disturbing and nobody apparently ever called the police,” said NBC29 legal expert Lloyd Snook.
A witness says Matthew walked past Graham as she passed Sal's Cafe on the Downtown Mall. He then crossed the mall and walked behind Graham until he caught up and put his arm around her.
“There was one person who said to Jesse Matthew, ‘You don't even know this girl,’ and Jesse said, ‘hush.’ If that person had said something, had called the police, we could have had a different outcome,” Snook stated.
The last person to see Graham alive says the man she was with "did not look friendly.” The witness saw Graham standing by Matthew’s 1998 orange Chrysler Sebring and heard her say, "’I’m not getting in that car with you!’
“One of the things that struck me particularly about the Hannah Graham case was how many times there could have been somebody who said, ‘Wow, this girl is in trouble, let's do something, let's call the cops,’” said Snook.
Harrington was last seen alive on the Copeley Bridge in Charlottesville.
According to court documents, one woman police spoke with says she got a ride in Matthew’s cab the night before Harrington disappeared. She told Matthew she didn't have enough cash to pay for her ride home and that's when he asked if she would pay with sexual acts.
“If it had gone to trial, they would have presented that evidence to show, basically to argue, that this is the kind of guy who would do something like this. This is entirely part of the pattern and practice of the way Jesse Matthew was behaving,” Snook stated.
The statements also talk about DNA evidence police found on the shirt Harrington wore the night she disappeared. A dog hair on the shirt closely aligned with hair from Matthew’s dog and blood on the shirt was consistent with Matthew’s DNA.
NBC29 reached out to Matthew through staff at the regional jail to see if he'd speak. Right now, he's only taking visits from family and clergy members.