Oct 31, 2014 9:59 AM

Attorney wants UVa abduction suspect evaluated

The Associated Press

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) An attorney for the man accused of abducting University of Virginia student Hannah Graham said Friday that he wants his client to be evaluated to determine his sanity.

Attorney James Camblos made the request at an arraignment for Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, in Fairfax County Circuit Court, where he's charged in a sexual assault unrelated to Graham's disappearance and death.

Matthew is charged with abducting a 26-year-old woman in Fairfax City in September 2005 and assaulting her. He also is charged with attempted capital murder in the case. In Charlottesville, he has been charged with abducting Graham with the intent to defile. The 18-year-old sophomore went missing in Charlottesville on Sept. 13. Her remains were found in mid-October.

Authorities say they also have forensic evidence linking him to the 2009 disappearance and death of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington.

At Friday's hearing, the judge took no action on Camblos' request for a psychiatric evaluation, deferring it until a later date.

Most of the hearing, in which Matthew appeared via video hookup from the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, concerned who would represent the defendant. The judge appointed both the Fairfax County public defender and Camblos as co-counsel, over the objections of Camblos and Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh.

Matthew requested that Camblos, who is representing him in the Graham case, be appointed to handle the Fairfax case as well.

"I would prefer Mr. Camblos to be my attorney, if possible. I've built a relationship with him," Matthew said, with Camblos at his side at the Charlottesville-area jail.

Camblos objected to the idea of serving as co-counsel with public defenders, saying it would amount to "two chiefs, not enough Indians." Morrogh objected on the basis that it would be a waste of taxpayers' money to have both appointed.

But the judge, Dennis Smith, said the two ought to be able to work together, and bringing both onto the case should ensure that the trial is not delayed. He said the law requires the public defender be appointed except in unusual circumstances.

Another hearing was scheduled for Nov. 14 to set a trial date.

After Friday's hearing, Morrogh said he will continue to consult with prosecutors in the Charlottesville area to determine which case should go to trial first, and that he is prepared to go first or last. He said that, ideally, he'd like the trial to be able to go forward within six months.

He said the victim in the 2005 assault is no longer in the country, but is cooperating with investigators and will be available to testify at trial.


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