Jesse L. Matthew (AP Photo)
The man believed to be responsible for the killings of two Virginia college students was sentenced to three life sentences Friday for a separate attack in 2005.
Fairfax County, Va. Circuit Court Judge David S. Schell sentenced Jesse L. Matthew to three life sentences. Matthew was charged for the sexual assault, attempted murder, and abduction with attempt to defile of a 26-year-old woman in 2005. According to news reports, the sentence was the maximum for the charges.
“The violence of these offenses was extreme,” Schell said.
According to The Washington Post, public defender Bob Frank, who represented Matthew, asked the court for a lighter sentence. He said Matthew had a difficult life, because he grew up poor, his father was an alcoholic and he was sexually abused as a child.
Commonwealth Attorney Raymond Morrogh told CNN that Matthew, 33, could possibly be up for parole when he is 60 years old. However, Matthew is also awaiting trial in connection with the disappearance and death of Hannah Graham, a University of Virginia student. Graham’s remains were found in Albemarle County, Va. in 2014. If convicted in that case, Matthew could face the death penalty.
He was also indicted in September for the death of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in 2009, according to news reports.
Washington, D.C. CBS affiliate WUSA reported that Matthew’s mother was very distraught during the sentencing Friday, screaming “No, no, no! I hope you rot in hell!” She was escorted from the courtroom by family as she cried out for her son.