Suspect in Hannah Graham Case To Appear In Court
By Dugald McConnell & Brian Todd | CNN
The man charged with abducting University of Virginia student Hannah Graham -- whose body was later found on an abandoned farm -- is scheduled to face a judge Friday in a separate case in Fairfax, Virginia.
Jesse Matthew will appear for the brief procedural hearing via video from the jail where he's being held in Charlottesville, Virginia, officials say. In that separate case -- in which a young woman was sexually assaulted -- Matthew faces charges of abduction, sexual assault, and attempted capital murder.
He may also face more serious counts beyond the abduction charge in the Graham case, in light of the discovery of the 18-year-old's body October 18.
But analysts say he may be tried first in Fairfax, because authorities there have had more time to build their case, and they have both DNA evidence as well as a potential eyewitness.
Woman was dragged, sexually assaulted
In the Fairfax case, authorities say that on September 24, 2005, a young woman returning from a grocery store was grabbed from behind by an assailant and sexually assaulted.
"We saw her purse on the front sidewalk," said neighbor Stacey Simkins. "He had already dragged her behind our units to the dark pool area."
Simkins did not see the suspect's face, but she immediately called police.
"The offender was scared away by a passerby," the FBI said in a statement, "but the victim got a good look at him."
The victim helped authorities draw up a composite sketch, and now she could potentially be called as a witness at trial.
"I'd rather not say where she is, but she is cooperative," Fairfax County Prosecutor Ray Morrogh said last week.
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