Galveston judge on suspect capture in missing UVa student case

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry (Photo courtesy Henry)

GALVESTON COUNTY, Tx. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side spoke with Mark Henry, the county judge for Galveston County, about the capture of the man who is accused of abducting a UVA student.

Judge Henry gave insight into how Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. was arrested Wednesday night. It started with a typical suspicious person call to the sheriff’s office and ended with the man suspect in Hannah Graham’s disappearance in custody.

Sheriff’s deputies got a call around 3:30 p.m. (local time) about a suspicious person on the Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston. At the scene, deputies ran Matthew’s license plate, which came back with a fugitive from justice warrant out of Virginia. Henry said the deputies placed Matthew into custody without incident.

“My belief is that the deputies who responded had no idea who this was,” Henry said. “They made contact like they do every day, they ran the plates as they do every day, he came back as a fugitive from justice warrant out of Virginia, they then placed the suspect under arrest.”

Henry said Matthew was camping in a tent on the beach. He is being held in the Galveston County Jail and will appear before Henry in court Thursday morning.

“I’m scheduled to do magistrate court in the morning, so I suspect that I will see him by video tomorrow morning,” Henry said. “I assume that Virginia has set no bond on him. So, I will set his bond at no bond as requested by the state of Virginia.”

Now the extradition process is underway to bring Matthew back to the Commonwealth. Investigators from Charlottesville will head to Galveston on Thursday.

Police believe Matthew was the last person seen with Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old sophomore who went missing on Sept. 13. Authorities obtained a felony warrant for his arrest late Tuesday. He has been charged with abduction with intent to defile.

As of Wednesday night, the reward for Hannah was increased to $100,000.

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