Media coalition asks to unseal docket in Jesse Matthew case

This undated photo provided by the Charlottesville, Va. Police Department shows Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. (AP Photo/Charlottesville, Va. Police Department)

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A Fairfax County judge is scheduled to hear arguments from a coalition of news media seeking to unseal court records in a case involving a Charlottesville man charged with killing a University of Virginia student.

Thirty-three-year-old Jesse Matthew of Charlottesville is charged in Fairfax with attempted murder and sexual assault of a woman in 2005. He is charged in Albemarle County with the abduction and murder of student Hannah Graham.

WAVY: Hannah Graham case

Both cases have drawn extensive pretrial publicity. In Fairfax, the judge ordered the court docket to be sealed in response to defense lawyers’ concerns about Matthew’s ability to get a fair trial.

The media companies, including The Associated Press, say that sealing the court file violates constitutional guarantees of a public trial. A hearing is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

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