- The Washington Times - Friday, November 15, 2002

A judge will decide today whether accused sniper John Lee Malvo, 17, should be moved to a juvenile jail to await trial in the Oct. 14 shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, outside the Home Depot at Seven Corners Shopping Center in Fairfax County.
The hearing is in response to a petition filed by Mr. Malvo's court-appointed guardian, Todd Petit, asking the court to reconsider its Nov. 8 decision to hold the juvenile without bail in the maximum-security Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in the District and Louisiana yesterday filed their own first-degree murder charges against Mr. Malvo and his companion, John Allen Muhammad.
Mr. Muhammad, 41, is being held in Prince William County. He is accused in the Oct. 9 death of Dean Harold Meyers, 53, who was gunned down while pumping gas about 9:30 p.m. at the Battlefield Sunoco station in Manassas.
U.S. Attorney Roscoe C. Howard Jr. yesterday said Mr. Malvo and Mr. Muhammad were responsible for the shooting death of Pascal Charlot, 72. Mr. Charlot was shot as he stood on a street corner on Georgia Avenue near his home in the District.
According to an affidavit filed yesterday in D.C. Superior Court, Mr. Malvo told investigators he "remembered shooting an elderly black male in Northwest D.C."
The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
"We don't know if these guys will ever come to the District at this point," said Channing Phillips, spokesman for Mr. Howard. "If nothing else, it should provide closure to the family."
At a detention hearing for Mr. Malvo last week, Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. cited the nature of the charges and the teenager's attempted escape from police custody in Baltimore as reason to hold him in the maximum-security facility.
He also pointed out that the juvenile facility houses younger teens who are accused of minor crimes. Corrections officials classified the security level at the juvenile center as "medium."
Mr. Horan did not return a phone call for comment yesterday, and Mr. Petit declined to discuss the petition because it is under review. Mr. Petit, who was appointed guardian for Mr. Malvo on Nov. 7, said he had seen the juvenile two times.
Officials with the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office said special security arrangements have been made for Mr. Malvo, who is being held isolated from the adult population.
"There are areas in the facility where we can house every level of inmate," said Lt. Tyler Corey of the Fairfax Sheriff's Department. He also said the facility is certified by the Virginia Department of Corrections to house juveniles.
Though he would not give details about security arrangements in place for Mr. Malvo, Lt. Corey said inmates in general have access to a telephone to make collect calls and are allowed to watch television.
John W. Sinquefield, first assistant district attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish, said he thinks his jurisdiction has good evidence and will be seeking the death penalty against the two for the Sept. 23 fatal shooting of beauty products shop manager Hong Im Ballenger.
Ballistics tests positively linked bullet fragments recovered from the shooting to the .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle used in the sniper killings in Maryland, Virginia and the District.
Mr. Sinquefield pointed out that Louisiana law considers 17-year-olds, like Mr. Malvo, adults.
"They've got a date with Louisiana justice, and we intend for them to keep it," said Mr. Sinquefield, who argued the evidence before a grand jury yesterday and would prosecute the case if it came to trial.
He said despite the fact that U.S. Justice Department officials selected Virginia as the site of the first trials, his jurisdiction is moving ahead with charges and extradition requests.
First-degree murder in Louisiana is punishable by lethal injection or life in prison.


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