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Judge Delays Trial of Accused Killer in Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CN) - An Albemarle County circuit court judge agreed to delay the trial of accused murderer Jesse Matthew to give his defense team time to enlist a DNA expert.

Matthew has been charged with first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in connection with the death of University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham.

Graham disappeared in Charlottesville last September after she was spotted on surveillance video walking along a downtown mall. Her remains were found a month later.

Matthew showed no emotion during his brief appearance in court, glancing only briefly at members of his family that had attended the session.

Also in the courtroom were Graham's parents and the mother of another alleged victim of the accused, Morgan Harrington.

Matthew has yet to be charged in that case. He also faced trial on June 8 on charges of attempted murder and sexual assault in Fairfax County.

During Wednesday's hearing, Jim Camblos, Matthew's attorney, argued that with the trial date set for June 29, it would be "absolutely impossible" for an expert to consider all the evidence.

"It's not just a matter of getting an expert witness," Camblos said. "There are some items that have not yet been analyzed by the commonwealth."

Prosecutor Denise Lunsford said that though commonwealth holds no objection to the motion, they do have concerns about the smooth operation of the docket call.

"The commonwealth does intend to rely on DNA evidence," Lunsford said during today's hearing. "some have been lab tested, some items we have not yet received a report on."

Matthew appeared in Albemarle Circuit Court in person today, but remained silent through the duration of the hearing.

The decision by an Albemarle County, Va. circuit court judge came as the court also agreed to delay Matthew's trial, which had been scheduled to begin on June.

A hearing has been set for May 5 to determine when the trial will get underway.

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