Judge to consider recusal motion in UVA slaying case

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The man charged with abducting and killing a University of Virginia student is due in court.

Albemarle County Circuit Judge Cheryl Higgins will consider a defense request that she step down from the case at Thursday’s hearing. Jesse Matthew Jr.’s attorney says in court papers that Higgins approved search warrants that will be challenged at trial. He also notes that the judge’s daughter attends the university.

If Higgins rejects the recusal motion, she may set a trial date.

Matthew is charged in the September abduction and slaying of 18-year-old Hannah Graham. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Earlier this month, the 33-year-old Matthew was convicted of attempted capital murder, abduction and sexual assault in an unrelated 2005 case in Fairfax County. He’ll be sentenced in October.

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