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Media Coverage Logistics: Jesse L. Matthew Jr., Plea Hearing

Recognizing the significant media attendance and coverage of the scheduled plea hearing for Jesse L. Matthew Jr., the following Media Plan has been established by the Albemarle County, City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County Circuit Court, Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office, Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Albemarle County Police Department and Virginia State Police. We appreciate your cooperation and compliance with the following:


  • March 2, 2016 – Wednesday
  • 1:30 p.m.
  • Albemarle County Circuit Court (Court Square, 501 East Jefferson Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902-5110)

Media Parking:

  • Public parking garages
  • On-street parking – Be mindful of the 2 hour limit, as it will be actively enforced Wednesday
  • NO media are allowed to park or block city sidewalks…as pedestrian traffic has priority.
  • NO media are allowed to double park in a way that blocks the flow of traffic.

Satellite Truck Parking:

  • 4th Street NE between E. Jefferson Street and E. High Street will be closed for satellite truck parking. Trucks must enter from E. High Street.
  • Street closure begins at 5:30 a.m. and lasts through midnight.
  • **ONLY satellite trucks will be permitted to park here…NO additional media vehicles.

Media Staging:

  • Media are welcome to use Jackson Park as a staging area for live shots. Nothing heavier than a tripod can be used on the park grounds (i.e. no generators). Media are also asked to limit cords and avoid trip hazards for the public, as the courthouse will be in use to the public all day.
  • Media Room with tables, chairs, free Wi-Fi, etc., will be available at the Albemarle County Government Building at 401 McIntire Road in Room #241…from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Courtroom…in accordance with the Judge’s directive:

  • NO cameras – still or video – will be allowed in the courtroom, this includes Pool Cameras.
  • NO cell phones are permitted inside the courtroom.
  • Courtroom will be emptied prior to the 1:30 p.m. hearing, so no advance seating.
  • First-Come Seating: This courtroom is extremely small, with only six total rows for seating. Therefore, the victims’ and defendant’s families will be seated in the front three rows on both sides of the courtroom. The remaining three rows will be open to media and the general public.
    • Line forms for media and public seating inside the courtroom at 1 p.m. on the brick walkway in front of the Albemarle County General District Courthouse on E. Jefferson Street…near the flagpole and look for the Virginia State Police Trooper.
  • We ask that media be respectful of the limited space and only send ONE rep from each news agency. We will be on site assisting with this process. Please be prepared to provide credentials.

Courtroom Sketch Artist:

  • TBA - We will provide this contact information as soon as it becomes available.

Press Conference: Front of the Albemarle County Circuit Courthouse
The plea hearing is expected to last approximately 1 hour. A press conference will take place approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the hearing, which should be around 3 p.m.

  • Media inside the courtroom will be given time to move outside before the press conference begins.
  • Media outside are asked to set up for the press conference beginning at 2 p.m. A podium, multi-box and public address system will be available.

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci will address the media. The Harringtons and Grahams have indicated they would like to speak.

For questions, please contact the Albemarle County Government Office of Community Relations at 434-296-5841.

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