- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 13, 2002

The 13-year-old Bowie boy who was critically wounded when a sniper shot him in the belly as he walked to school on Oct. 7 has been released from Children's Hospital in the District.
"My son [is] walking and talking on his own, fully alert and ready to go home," the boy's mother said in a statement issued yesterday.
"It is a bittersweet homecoming for our family," she said. "We know so many families did not have their loved ones returned to them."
The boy was the eighth person shot in the sniper attacks that gripped the region for three weeks in October, taking 10 lives and wounding three.
The boy, whose name has not been reported because of his age and because investigators consider him a witness to a crime, was released Monday, hospital spokeswoman Marissa Garis said.
John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, are linked by ballistics test to the boy's shooting, which occurred at 8:08 a.m. outside Benjamin Tasker Middle School in the 4900 block of Collington Road in Bowie.
The suspects are being held in Virginia, where they await trial on capital murder charges in two other shootings that occurred during the sniper spree.
Mr. Malvo and Mr. Muhammad were transferred to Fairfax County and Prince William County, respectively, after U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft decided those were the best jurisdictions out of the six involved in the shootings to first prosecute the suspects.
Five of the victims were killed on a single day, Oct. 3, with four shot in Montgomery County and one in the District. The sniper then struck in Bowie before moving to Virginia, where three were killed and one wounded. A final fatality in Montgomery County came two days before the suspects were arrested Oct. 24.
Virginia laws provide the most opportunities to obtain the death penalty. The state allows the execution of 17-year-olds and has put to death 86 persons since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976, more than any state except Texas.
In Prince William County, Mr. Muhammad faces capital murder charges in the Oct. 9 death of Dean Harold Meyers of Gaithersburg, who was gunned down while pumping gas in Manassas. He will appear in court today in Manassas, where a judge is expected to appoint a lawyer for him.
During an interrogation in Fairfax County, Mr. Malvo reportedly confessed to being the one who pulled the trigger in the shooting of the Bowie boy Oct. 7.
The boy suffered wounds to his chest and stomach. He spent several weeks in serious condition at Children's Hospital. Although the .223-caliber bullet damaged his spleen, pancreas, lung and diaphragm each of which had to be removed doctors were optimistic about the boy's chances for survival.
A team of surgeons working on the boy made a special effort to locate a large enough portion of the bullet for investigators to ballistically match it to bullets retrieved from earlier sniper shootings.
"Although his complete recovery continues from the sniper attack, he has made miraculous strides, and we thank God for this blessing," the boy's mother said. "To the other families of the sniper victims, please accept our profound condolences. Our prayers remain with you."
The next-to-last sniper victim, a man wounded Oct. 19 outside an Ashland, Va., steakhouse, is in stable condition and continues to improve.
He will remain hospitalized for the next few weeks, said Pam Lepley, spokeswoman for Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond.
Meanwhile, controversy surrounding leaks to reporters about statements Mr. Malvo made during his interrogation continues. Mr. Malvo's defense attorney, Michael Arif, has criticized police for questioning the teenager without his court-appointed guardian present and for telling The Washington Post about several confessions apparently made during the questioning.
Federal law-enforcement officials close to the sniper investigation told The Washington Times Mr. Malvo was advised of his rights by Fairfax County authorities and consented to the questioning, "even boasting" at times that he had been the shooter in some of the killings.
Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said he was "outraged" that a law-enforcement officer talked to reporters about the interrogation. Mr. Horan has not identified Mr. Malvo by name, instead referring to him as "the juvenile."
Mr. Arif said he intends to have Mr. Malvo's statements during the interrogation tossed out of court before trial begins. But most legal experts contend he'll have a tough time persuading a judge to do so as long as Mr. Malvo knew of his right to a lawyer and voluntarily waived it.
"Virginia tends to be a pro-prosecution state, and prosecutors could very well succeed in getting it admitted," said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.
Robert Cleary, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, said the mere fact that Mr. Malvo's guardian or lawyer tried to stop the questioning is not enough to have it thrown out.
Meanwhile, police in Tucson, Ariz., said yesterday the rifle tied to the sniper suspects was not the weapon used to kill a golfer in March.
Detectives determined that the Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle linked by ballistics to many of the sniper shootings was in a gun dealer's inventory when Jerry R. Taylor was killed, said Sgt. Marco Borboa, a spokesman for the Tucson Police Department.
"So the rifle couldn't have been used on Mr. Taylor," Sgt. Borboa said.
Mr. Taylor, 60, was shot March 19 while practicing chip shots at the Fred Enke Golf Course in Tucson. He was killed by a single shot to the chest fired from long range.
Police are investigating the potential connection to the snipers because many elements are similar to other random killings and the two suspects were in Tucson when Mr. Taylor was gunned down.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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