A grand jury in Albemarle County, Virginia has indicted Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. in the killing of Morgan Harrington, the 20-year-old METALLICA fan who vanished after leaving one of the band’s concerts, only for her remains to be found several months later. Matthew also has been charged with abduction with intent to defile. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Morgan’s mother, Gil Harrington, told WDBJ: “That the person responsible will be brought to justice, there’s a lot of satisfaction in that. Something as heinous as taking someone’s life should have consequences. Today, finally, the domino cascade of consequences for Jesse Matthew for killing Morgan Harrington has started.”
Gil and her husband, Dan Harrington, will attend Matthew’s arraignment later today (Wednesday, September 16) in Albemarle County Circuit Court.
Matthew will go on trial in July 2016 for last year’s murder of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.
Gil Harrington previously told Noisecreep about METALLICA: “It has been humbling from the very beginning. Two days after Morgan was abducted, they could have distanced themselves from an ugly occurrence. But [METALLICA frontman] James Hetfield called this house to speak to Dan [Harrington, Morgan’s dad], as a father, and asked, ‘What can we do?’ [More than] three years out, they [still did] things. James participated with the FBI and did public service announcements.”
METALLICA also added $50,000 to the $100,000 reward already offered by the Harringtons for information on their daughter’s murder, and invested another $50,000 in a scholarship named in her memory.
Morgan vanished while hitchhiking home from the band’s show on the Virginia Tech campus on October 17, 2009. Her remains were found on a farm about 10 miles from the venue in January 2010.
METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo told The Pulse Of Radio at the time how he felt when he first heard about the tragic incident. “I mean, I was crushed,” he said. “Stuff like this just really, really bums me out, especially when you are a parent and you have children. I mean, it’s the worst thing that you could ever imagine.”
Pictured below: Jesse L. Matthew Jr. and sketch composite of suspect in Morgan Harrington case