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Jesse Matthew, man convicted of killing two Virginia college students, diagnosed with cancer

RICHMOND, Va. – A man who will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington and University of Virginia student Hannah Graham has another sentence to face -- he's been diagnosed with cancer.

Morgan Harrington disappeared in October of 2009. Her remains were found in January of 2010.
Morgan Harrington disappeared in October of 2009. Her remains were found in January of 2010.

That's according to Morgan Harrington's mother, Gil Harrington, who learned about Jesse Matthew's illness Tuesday.

"I have never been directing my energies in the rearview mirror and toward punishment and retribution," said Harrington. 

And she says that hasn't changed, even with news that Matthew, the man who murdered her 20-year-old daughter Morgan in 2009, has been diagnosed with cancer.

Police, family of Morgan Harrington push for expansion of DNA DataBank (Image 1)
Police, family of Morgan Harrington push for expansion of DNA DataBank (Image 1)

"I'm not fist-bumping and happy that he has a challenging diagnosis," said Harrington. 

Harrington says the legacy being built through Help Save the Next Girl, the nonprofit formed in Morgan's honor, continues to be her family's focus -- not Matthew's fate.

Jesse Matthew charged with first-degree murder, abduction in Hannah Graham case (Image 1)
Jesse Matthew charged with first-degree murder, abduction in Hannah Graham case (Image 1)

"Once he was stopped, whatever justice came forth, I was comfortable with," said Harrington. "And perhaps this is his destiny and his karma."

Harrington was also informed that Matthew was transferred to a different state prison for treatment. She said the most important thing is that he can never hurt another girl.


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