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Man charged in Virginia student’s slaying appears in court

March 4, 2015

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (AP) — A judge agreed to delay the trial of the man facing murder charges in the killing of a British-born U.S. university student, as her parents watched from the second row of a courtroom Wednesday.

John Graham peered over the top of his glasses at Jesse Matthew Jr., who is accused in the September 2014 disappearance and death of Hannah Graham, 18. It was Matthew’s first court appearance since a grand jury indicted him on charges of abduction with intent to defile and first-degree murder. Matthew, 33, who attended a previous hearing by video link from jail, faces up to life in prison if convicted.

John and Sue Graham left the courthouse after the 15-minute hearing without speaking to reporters.

Matthew, 33, looked around the courtroom upon entering but said nothing during the hearing.

Prosecutors did not object to the defense motion to delay the trial, which had been set for June 29. A new date will be set at a hearing May 5.

Matthew also faces trial June 8 on charges of attempted murder and sexual assault in a separate case.

The former hospital worker and cab driver also was accused of sexually assaulting students at Liberty University and Christopher Newport University when he was a defensive lineman on their football teams more than a decade ago. Those cases were dropped when the women declined to prosecute, officials have said.

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