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Jesse Matthew appears in court for hearing in Morgan Harrington killing

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --After nearly six years, the man suspected in the disappearance and murder of Morgan Harrington appeared in court to face charges in the case, reports CBS affiliate WDBJ.

Morgan Harrington Facebook photo

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. was charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 death of 20-year-old Morgan Harrington, the Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said Tuesday in a news release. Harrington vanished after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville. Her T-shirt was later found on a nearby tree limb and her body was found more than three months later in a field in Albemarle County about 6 miles away from where the concert was held.

Matthew was also charged with abduction with intent to defile in Harrington's case.

Authorities have previously said forensic evidence linked Matthew to Harrington, but they have not said what that evidence is. In the news release, authorities said they will not comment on the evidence or what punishment they may seek for Matthew.

He is due back in court in the Harrington case Sept. 30 at 2 p.m., reports the station. He appeared in court wearing shackles and handcuffs. Matthew's first court hearing lasted less than 10 minutes, reports the station.

"He killed our daughter," said Dan Harrington, Morgan Harrington's father, outside the courthouse Tuesday, according to WDBJ. "I want him to know that we are present. And we've been present for six years. And we'll be present for the months to come. He needs to know that justice is coming."

Speaking with CBS affiliate WTVR Tuesday, Morgan Harrington's mother Gil said, "This is the verification that my daughter was actually murdered."

"This is another step in the marathon we have ahead of us, but it also shows that there are consequences," Gil Harrington told the station.

Matthew is charged with capital murder in the September 2014 disappearance and death of 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Graham's remains were discovered about 6 miles from where Harrington's were found.

Matthew will have the same defense team in the Harrington case as in the Graham case, reports the station. Prosecutor Denise Lunsford reportedly said she won't combine the two cases.

Hannah Graham CBS affiliate WCAV

After police named Matthew a person of interest in Graham's disappearance, he fled and was later apprehended on a beach in Texas. He was charged with abduction with intent to defile, a felony that empowered police to swab his cheek for a DNA sample. That sample connected Matthew to a 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax County, according to authorities.

In June, Matthew was convicted of sexually assaulting and attempting to kill the woman in the Fairfax County case. Matthew entered an Alford Plea, acknowledging that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him but not technically admitting guilt. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced in the Fairfax case in October.

Prosecutors have said they're seeking the death penalty in the Graham case. The charges in the Harrington case signal the death penalty isn't being sought in that prosecution.

The former hospital worker and cab driver also was accused of sexually assaulting students at Liberty University and Christopher Newport University when he was a defensive lineman on their football teams more than a decade ago. Those cases were dropped when the women declined to prosecute, officials have said.

"48 Hours" kicks off its 28th season with a two-hour primetime investigation into who killed Hannah Graham and the terrifying fear that the accused killer may have struck before. "Hannah Graham: Deadly Connections" airs Saturday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

And, for the first time, "48 Hours" has produced a five-part crime and justice podcast series on the case.

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