Dog Detected Student's Scent in UVa Suspect's Car

Search warrants upheld in Hannah Graham case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2016 5:26 AM CST
Dog Detected Student's Scent in UVa Suspect's Car
Jesse Matthew is led out of the Albemarle Circuit Court building after a motions hearing on his murder trials in Charlottesville, Va., on Dec. 7, 2015.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A former police bloodhound handler told a court on Monday that during the search for UVa student Hannah Graham, the animal detected her scent outside the car and apartment of suspect Jesse Matthew—and the scent of "fear and adrenaline" where she was allegedly attacked. The handler was testifying during a pretrial hearing where lawyers for Matthew, who is already serving three life terms in prison for a 2005 sexual assault, unsuccessfully challenged the search warrants police obtained for Matthew's home and vehicle, the AP reports. He said the 7-year-old dog, Shaker, traced Graham's scent from downtown Charlottesville to a mulch pile at an industrial site, where the smell of fear was strongest.

Matthew, 33, faces a capital murder charge in the 2014 death of Graham, whose body was found on an abandoned property around six weeks after she disappeared. He has also been charged with the 2009 murder of a Virginia Tech student. At Monday's hearing, another police witness testified that, contrary to what the defense claimed, the scent trail was consistent with surveillance videos that showed Graham wandering around, reports WSET. The officer shared text message records indicating that she was lost the night she disappeared.The Washington Post notes that Matthew is seen walking alongside Graham in some of the surveillance videos. (More Hannah Graham stories.)

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