Nearly five months after the disappearance of University of Virginia sophomore and West Potomac High School alumna Hannah Graham, the primary suspect in her death investigation has been indicted by a grand jury in Albemarle County.
“Following an extensive investigation and a successful multi-jurisdictional partnership, the Albemarle County Police Department has completed the investigation into the disappearance and death of Hannah Graham,” said Col. Steve Sellers of the Albemarle County Police Department at a Feb. 10 press conference. “The case now transitions over to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for prosecution.”
A statement from Commonwealth’s Attorney and Albemarle County prosecutor Denise Lunsford explained that Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. was charged Feb. 2 with first degree murder of Graham, as well as abduction with the intent to defile her. Each offense could bring a penalty of life in prison for Matthew.
Graham first went missing on Sept. 13, 2014. After nearly a month of searching, human remains found on an abandoned property in southern Albemarle County were determined by the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office and Albemarle County Police Department to be hers.
“Additionally,” Lunsford statement said, “Mr. Matthew was indicted on two charges of reckless driving arising from an incident occurring on Sept. 20, 2014.” Those misdemeanor charges each have a potential for up to a year in prison.