Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

A NEW WARRANT IS ISSUED IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO MISSING COLLEGE SOPHOMORE’S DISAPPEARENCE

Well, Jesse Mathew, 32, (hereinafter, the “Suspect”), whom we discussed yesterday, seems to be in more trouble than we knew. Search warrants weren issued today to carry out searches of his apartment. The search warrants are part of the ongoing criminal investigation into the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham (hereinafter, the “Missing”).

Meanwhile, the Charlottesville Police Department is ramping up the pressure on the Suspect by releasing to the media a wanted poster for him, saying that he may be in possession of his sister’s car. They also indicate that he has known associates in Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York in addition to his home state of Virginia.

Incidentally, I also know people in Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia. Worse yet, I also know folks in New Jersey, Florida, Georgia and Ohio. As well as a bunch of other places. I suppose if I am ever wanted by Virginia for a misdemeanor motor vehicle crime, the poster would run out of space to list all the potential innuendo against me.

But I digress.

As indicated yesterday, the Suspect has not been charged in connection to the Missing disappearance. He has not even been officially labeled a ‘suspect”. No, all that Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo will tell us that the Suspect is believed to be the last person seen with the Missing before she vanished over one week ago.

Of course, there may be even more reason to engage in a media hunt in this misdemeanor driving case. Perhaps this nursing assistant at the University of Virginia Health System’s prior record reflect a dangerous person. After all, public records apparently reveal that the Suspect was involved in 22 incidents between 1999 and 2007, the majority of which were related to some kind of traffic violations. These crimes ranged from failure to wear a seatbelt to failure to yield or obey stop signs.

Clearly a threat to the community.

While not yet charged nor publically labeled a “suspect”, the Suspect is clearly someone who the police want to squeeze for information. The last images of the Missing were caught on store surveillance cameras which police say show the her with the Suspect. The surveillance tape is said to show the two together as they entered and left two establishments.

Yet Police Chief Longo keeps reiterating that the police are not calling the Suspect a “suspect” in the Missing’s disappearance. Chief Longo claims that the Suspect is simply someone who could have useful information about what happened to her.

Nonetheless, Chief Longo also claims that, “I believe [the Suspect] was the last person she was seen with [the Missing] before she vanished off the face of the Earth because it’s been a week and we can’t find her.”

Attorney Sam’s Take On Slicing The Baloney A Little Extra Thin During Criminal Investigations

“Aw, come on, Sam! Give the authorities a break! Clearly this guy must be on the run because he has something to hide in the Missing’s disappearance.”

Let’s assume, for the moment, that you are correct. I still would maintain that Police Chief Longo may want to come clean and call it what it is.

The police did not, and do not, care all that much about the Suspect’s driving case. The media circus about the vehicular crime (yet another misdemeanor in an historical list of such behavior) has nothing to do with the charges facing the Suspect. Neither does where the Suspect knows people.

The police want to put as much pressure on the Suspect as possible to make him tell all he knows about the vanished Missing. Further, in all likelihood, they do consider him a suspect given the quasi-logical rantings of the police chief.

“If he is a suspect, then why wouldn’t the police call him that? Why not seek an arrest warrant for that?”

Because they probably do not have enough evidence…not only to link him to the disappearance, but also as to what charges to bring. Was she kidnapped? Killed? Sold into the Omni frightening sex trade?

There is simply not enough evidence. Further, the police are probably trying to keep their options open to potentially question him again about the missing. Once they charge the Suspect , or label him a “suspect”, he gets the benefit of certain rights. We already know from yesterday’s blog that he has a nasty tendency to assert such rights.

“You are talking about Miranda – type rights. His right to not talk and to get an attorney.”

I am.

“But they already gave him an attorney!”

Right. And that may well be where they screwed up this case.

“What do you mean?”

Let’s cover that when we finish discussing this story tomorrow.

For the original stories upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/education/2014/09/21/man-seen-with-uva-student-faces-driving-charge/s2EpPS0NikU4SPSdzO6oGN/story.html and http://abcnews.go.com/US/hannah-graham-searchers-returns-jesse-matthews-apartment/story?id=25677711

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