Jury chosen in rape trial of suspect in Virginia student's murder

FAIRFAX, Va. - A jury was chosen on Monday for the rape trial of a Virginia man also charged with the high-profile murder of college student Hannah Graham.

FAIRFAX, Va. - A jury was chosen on Monday for the rape trial of a  Virginia  man also charged with the high-profile murder of college student  Hannah Graham .

Jesse Matthew Jr. , 33, of  Charlottesville , is charged with attacking a woman in Fairfax, a Washington suburb, in 2005.

A jury of seven men and seven women, including two alternates, was chosen in  Fairfax County Circuit Court  after nearly three hours of selection. Opening arguments could take place later on Monday.

Matthew, a former hospital worker, appeared wearing a dreadlocked ponytail, beige dress shirt and slacks. He is accused of grabbing a 26-year-old woman walking home from a grocery store, dragging her into nearby woods and sexually assaulting her.

When asked by Judge  David Schell  if he was prepared for trial, Matthew said, "No."


Schell has denied postponement requests from defense attorneys, who said they needed more time to assess evidence provided by prosecutors.

Matthew also is charged with abducting and killing Graham, a  University of Virginia  sophomore, last year in a case that drew national attention.

Albemarle County prosecutors charged him with capital murder in May, making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted in that case.

The rape trial in  Fairfax County Circuit Court  is scheduled to last two weeks. Matthew faces life in prison if convicted.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted capital murder during abduction, abduction with intent to defile, and sexual penetration with an object.

Virginia State Police  have said forensic evidence links Matthew to  Morgan Harrington , a  Virginia Tech  student who disappeared after leaving a  Charlottesville  concert in October 2009. Her body was discovered in 2010.

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