Prosecutor: No link between Jesse Matthew and Alexis Murphy

Alexis Murphy. Photo: FBI Richmond Division. Alexis Murphy. Photo: FBI Richmond Division.

Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin has for months maintained that there’s no credible link between accused Hannah Graham abductor Jesse Matthew and Alexis Murphy, another local teen who disappeared in August 2013 and whose convicted killer, Randy Taylor, is now serving two life sentences. Now Martin is pointing to DNA tests conducted by the FBI backs him up.

Martin released a lengthy statement Friday afternoon detailing the tests conducted on the forensic evidence collected during the Murphy investigation, reiterating the connections to Taylor and explaining the lack of any link to Matthew. Authorities compared Matthew’s DNA profile to evidence collected from Taylor’s trailer and truck, including a T-shirt of Taylor’s found balled up under his sofa that was stained with Murphy’s blood and contained Taylor’s DNA. They also compared it to swabs taken from Murphy’s 2003 Nissan Maxima, which was found in Charlottesville shortly after she disappeared. According to the press release, everything tested negative for Matthew’s DNA.

“In light of all the factors mentioned above and now the added scientific testing that has excluded Jesse Matthew, law enforcement affirms its earlier conclusion that there is no credible evidence linking Jesse Matthew to the abduction and murder of Alexis Murphy,” Martin wrote.

Matthew was arrested in October for abduction with intent to defile in the disappearance and death of graham. Police have linked Matthew’s DNA to two other crimes: The 2012 abduction and murder of Morgan Harrington and the 2005 rape and attempted murder of a woman in Fairfax. He is in jail pending court dates in Fairfax and Charlottesville in March.

Read the full text of prosecutor Martin’s press release here.