Morgan Harrington's mother reacts to charges against Jesse Matthew

By Brie Jackson - Weekend Anchor / Reporter
Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The Albermarle Sheriff's Office said an Albemarle County Grand Jury returned two Indictments against Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr. in connection with the October 17, 2009 disappearance and death of Morgan Dana Harrington. Matthew now faces charges of first degree murder of Morgan Harrington and abduction with the intent to defile. The maximum penalty for each offense is life in prison.

Gil Harrington, Morgan's mother, said she wants to be in the courtroom during Jesse Matthew's hearing because she wants him to see her face. Harrington said she wants to shine a light on the dark things that happened to her daughter, Morgan.

They Harringtons said they spent the past six years waiting for answers to Morgan's murder. During that time, the family used their pain and grief to help others through efforts such as "Help Save the Next Girl". Harrington said she believes serving others has brought them healing.

This afternoon, she heard about a grand jury's decision to indict Jesse Matthew Junior in connection to Morgan's death. He now faces first degree murder charges as well as abduction with the intent to defile. Harrington said she can't be happy about the validation that her daughter was murdered and abducted but the charges bring some closure.

"We are pleased that there will be consequences" she said. "When there is an act as heinous as abducting and murdering someone there should be consequences and finally today that whole domino of consequences for abducting and murdering Morgan Harrington has started."

Harrington said she is grateful for the efforts of investigators. She realizes the court case will be a long, slow and emotional process but she is grateful it is finally starting.

Jesse Matthew is expected to appear in an Albermarle court on Wednesday.

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