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Jesse Matthew expected to enter plea agreement Wednesday

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Posted at 8:00 AM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 08:02:00-05

The former cab driver accused of killing two Virginia college students is expected to sign a plea deal Wednesday afternoon.

Jesse Matthew Jr. is expected to enter a plea agreement in court “to resolve both the Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington abduction and murder cases,” a prosecutor said Monday.

Jesse Matthew

Jesse Matthew

“In the interest of protecting the integrity of the judicial process,” Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci said in a written statement, “our office is unable to provide any additional details as to the specific details of the plea agreement, or any other information related to the case, at this time.”

A hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today, Tracci said.

Prosecutors had said they planned to seek the death penalty if the Graham case went to trial.

Graham, an 18-year-old University of Virginia student, went missing in September 2014. Authorities found her remains the next month on abandoned property 8 miles from where the college sophomore was last seen.

After investigators said they believed he was the last person to see Graham before she went missing, Matthew, a former cab driver, was taken into custody. He faces a capital murder charge in that case.

Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, went missing in October 2009 after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville. Her remains were discovered on a nearby farm in January 2010. Last year, a grand jury indicted Matthew on charges of first-degree murder and abduction with the intent to defile in the Harrington case.

Last year, a judge sentenced Matthew to three life sentences for the 2005 sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman in Fairfax, Virginia.

A series of Twitter posts Monday on the page of “Help Save the Next Girl,” an organization founded by Harrington’s parents, expressed gratitude for the plea deal.

“There are no winners here,” mother Gil Harrington told CNN affiliate WVIR. “You know, our daughters are still dead. But then, I corrected myself, that actually the winner is the community, and maybe that’s what the abstract of justice means.”

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