Capital murder indictment returned in U.Va. slaying case

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2014 file photo Jesse Matthew Jr., right, looks toward the gallery while appearing in court in Fairfax, Va. A prosecutor’s decision not to seek a death penalty for Matthew Jr., accused of abducting and killing a University of Virginia student, is emblematic of capital punishment’s decline across the country and in Virginia, the state that once operated one of the busiest execution chambers in the nation. (AP Photo/The Washington Post, Bill O'Leary, Pool, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2014 file photo Jesse Matthew Jr., right, looks toward the gallery while appearing in court in Fairfax, Va. A prosecutor’s decision not to seek a death penalty for Matthew Jr., accused of abducting and killing a University of Virginia student, is emblematic of capital punishment’s decline across the country and in Virginia, the state that once operated one of the busiest execution chambers in the nation. (AP Photo/The Washington Post, Bill O'Leary, Pool, File)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – The man charged with abducting and killing a University of Virginia student has been charged with capital murder and now faces the prospect of the death penalty.

An indictment announced Tuesday in Virginia’s Albemarle County adds the charge in the case against Jesse Matthew Jr.

Prosecutor Denise Lunsford said the charge is based on new forensic evidence in the slaying of 18-year-old Hannah Graham.

Lunsford said she would seek the death penalty if Matthew goes to trial and is convicted on the capital murder charge. He already is charged with first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile.

Graham disappeared in September after a night out with friends in Charlottesville, where the school is located. Her remains were found weeks later in an area about 12 miles from the campus.

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