CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Those who know Jesse Matthew say it’s hard to believe the accusation that he abducted University of Virginia student Hannah Graham or that he is linked to the Morgan Harrington case, according to a report from WTVR in Richmond, Va.
A Covenant High School football player who played with Matthew told WTVR he was stunned by the allegations.
“He was a good guy, he was very religious,” the player said.
Deyard Milligan, who works at the Charlottesville barbershop Matthew frequented, agreed.
“He was a quiet guy. He was very quiet,” Deyard Milligan said.
Joe Gurak, whose father worked with the suspect, said Matthew “didn’t seem necessarily like a guy who would do something like that.”
In fact, friends from Moticello High School described Matthew as “the big man on campus” and a “teddy bear.”
However, court records obtained by WTVR reveal a man who also had a violent temper at times.
In 2009, the now 32-year-old was accused of following a driver he thought cut him off, then punching the man in the face twice and taking his phone near a convenience store.
That driver claims Matthew actually drove him to the hospital after the confrontation, WTVR reports.
Additionally, Matthew was found guilty of trespassing in 2010 at the now closed Bucks Auto Repair after he was asked to leave four times.
And it has been widely reported that Matthew was accused of sexual assault on the campus of Liberty University in 2002.