The trial was originally set for Oct. 17, 2016, but it was pushed back a week because Oct. 17 is the anniversary of Harrington’s death, NBC Washington reported.
Attorneys for Matthew are asking a judge to consider his hard upbringing before sentencing. But when the defense requested an immediate ruling, Judge Higgins quickly denied the motion.
His lawyers also filed a motion to appoint an expert to determine what risk Matthew would pose to society if he’s given life in prison instead of the death penalty.
In the Harrington case, the judge and attorney will discuss what happens next and possibly set a trial date. Matthew was arrested in Texas, and authorities say DNA from that case links him to the slaying of Harrington and a sexual assault on a woman in Fairfax County in 2005. He’s expected to be sentenced in October.
Harrington said such pleas would be “merciful” for all of the families involved, including Matthew’s.
Matthew also had a status hearing on the Morgan Harrington murder case, during which he waived his right to a speedy trial.
According to a letter to the judge that was released Tuesday, a former girlfriend said Matthew was raped as a child. “Many families have been decimated by the crimes of Jesse Matthew, including his own”.