Mental health expert appointed in student death case

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. is escorted into a courtroom for an appearance before 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter regarding his extradition back to Virginia Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Galveston, Texas. Matthew Jr. was arrested on a beach in the Texas community of Gilchrist by Galveston County Sheriff's authorities. He is charged with abducting a missing University of Virginia sophomore and is awaiting extradition. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A judge has appointed a mental health expert to evaluate the man charged with killing two college students in Virginia.

A court order entered after a hearing Monday says the expert will be paid $350 per hour to examine Jesse Matthew Jr. before his trial in the 2014 slaying of 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Matthew is scheduled for a jury trial in July. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Matthew also is charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 death of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, who vanished while attending a Metallica concert at U.Va. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in that case.

Matthew is already serving a life prison term for a 2005 attempted murder and sexual assault in northern Virginia.

Comments are closed.