ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VA (NEWSPLEX) — A judge has granted a request for a hearing to see if a search warrant that was obtained for Jesse Matthew, Jr.’s apartment was gotten improperly.
At a hearing in Albemarle County General District Court on Monday, the defense requested a Franks hearing, which means the attorneys was the court to determine if a police officer lied in order to get a search warrant.
For the first time, a police officer was testifying about evidence found while searching for Hannah Graham, including patches of her scent around Matthew’s apartment.
He is facing capital murder and abduction charges for Graham’s September 2014 disappearance in Charlottesville.
Matthew’s attorneys claim there was not enough probable cause to get a search warrant for his apartment and that an affidavit in the case was misleading.
They say Graham’s movements as described by police are not corroborated by witnesses or video evidence.
In response, prosecutors say no one knows Graham’s exact path and there is about 45 minutes during which she is not seen on video surveillance.
The prosecution says the defense would have to show that information was knowingly omitted from the affidavit.
The judge did grant the request for a Franks hearing.
An experienced bloodhound handler testified Monday about the scent trail his dog chased from the Shell gas station on Preston Avenue to Fourth Street SE.
However, Graham’s scent was found in just three places around Matthew’s apartment – on the passenger side door of the vehicle, on a nearby dumpster and on the apartment entrance door.
A second officer took the stand to testify Monday afternoon.
Matthew is also charged in the October 2009 abduction and first-degree murder of Morgan Harrington.
He entered an Alford plea last year to charges of attempted capital murder and sexual assault for a 2005 case in Fairfax County for which he has already been sentenced to three life terms in prison.