FAIRFAX, Va. — Jesse Matthew Jr., currently facing two murder trials, was sentenced for the rape and attempted murder of a Fairfax woman over a decade ago.
Matthew entered an Alford plea on June 10 for the September 2005 abduction, sexual assault and attempted murder of the victim identified as “RG” in Fairfax.
With that plea he did not admit to a criminal act, but acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence to win a conviction. However, the plea came as a surprise to many. It was a way to maintain innocence, but for all intent and purpose, there is no distinction when it comes to sentencing and his appellate rights are waived as well.
On Friday, as the parents of the alleged victims in Matthew’s two murder cases sat in the front row, Fairfax Circuit Judge David Schell sentenced Matthew to the maximum sentence of three life sentences.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh asked for a maximum of three life sentences, and a minimum of 45 years.
Matthew faces a capital murder charge for the death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, 18, who went missing in September 2014, after a night out with friends. He faces the death penalty when he goes on trial for that case in July 2016.
Graham’s remains were found in October, approximately five miles from where the remains of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington were found, in January 2010.
Matthew was also recently charged with Harrington’s murder.
His trial for that case is scheduled for October 24, 2016.
The DNA collected in connection with Harrington’s death matched DNA evidence from the 2005 case for which he was sentenced Friday.