According to WTOP, a former hospital worker is expected to plead guilty in the killing of Morgan Harrington, the 20-year-old METALLICA fan who vanished after leaving one of the band's concerts, only for her remains to be found several months later. Jesse Matthew will also plead guilty in the murder of 18-year-old Hannah Graham.
Matthew, who is currently serving a prison term of three consecutive life sentences for sexually assaulting a woman in 2005, could have faced the death penalty in the Graham case had he been convicted at trial. However, according to a report by WTVR, Matthew will be spared life but will "never be a threat to [the] community."
Morgan's mother, Gil Harrington, told WTOP that she and her husband were "very relieved" to see the case come to an end. She added that a plea deal would be "the most humane" way to resolve the case for all involved.
"This was the most logical and compassionate way to resolve this," she said. "It made no sense to go through a trial for someone who is already facing three life sentences."
Gil Harrington previously told Noisecreep about METALLICA's involvement in her daughter's case: "It has been humbling from the very beginning. Two days after Morgan was abducted, they could have distanced themselves from an ugly occurrence. But [METALLICA frontman] James Hetfield called this house to speak to Dan [Harrington, Morgan's dad], as a father, and asked, 'What can we do?' [More than] three years out, they [still did] things. James participated with the FBI and did public service announcements."
METALLICA also added $50,000 to the $100,000 reward already offered by the Harringtons for information on their daughter's murder, and invested another $50,000 in a scholarship named in her memory.
Morgan vanished while hitchhiking home from the band's show on the Virginia Tech campus on October 17, 2009. Her remains were found on a farm about 10 miles from the venue in January 2010.
METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo told The Pulse Of Radio at the time how he felt when he first heard about the tragic incident. "I mean, I was crushed," he said. "Stuff like this just really, really bums me out, especially when you are a parent and you have children. I mean, it's the worst thing that you could ever imagine."
Pictured below: Jesse L. Matthew Jr. and sketch composite of suspect in Morgan Harrington case