Man Charged With Murder of Hannah Graham May Not Get What He Deserves

Nursing student Jessie Matthew Jr. has been charged in the death of Hannah Graham. Matthew has long been the sole suspect in the case of the University of Virginia student who went missing on September 13, 2014, but he had yet to be charged. Today he was, but the charges are not what most people would have expected.


Reportedly, Matthew will be charged with first-degree murder, which carries a possible life sentence, but he will not be charged with capital murder, which could have meant the death penalty. Prosecutors would not say why, but presumably they felt this was the best charge for the evidence and stood the best chance of convicting him with this slightly lesser charge.

Even more surprisingly, however, Matthew will not be charged in the death of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, who disappeared in 2009, despite reports that DNA linked him to the crime. That could change in the future though.

Craig Maniglia, a long-time friend of the Graham family, told the Associated Press:

Once convicted, my hope is that Mr. Matthew will not go free and be in a position to harm innocent young women ever again.

Graham went missing after an off-campus party, but surveillance footage caught her leaving a bar with Matthew, his arm around her.

Matthew had insisted that he bought Graham some drinks but then he went his way and she went hers. It's unclear exactly what happened after that, but the court case should answer many, many questions. Unfortunately, none of it will bring Hannah Graham back, but it will hopefully give the Graham family a bit of closure.

More from The Stir: UPDATE: Nursing Assistant Identified as 'Person of Interest' In Missing UVA Student Case

What a tragedy that this vibrant young woman apparently met up with a vicious predator that evening. If only someone had seen her and offered to help her. How different things could have been.

If Matthew is found guilty, he won't get the death penalty, but at least women on the streets will be safe from him.


Image via City of Charlottesville

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