- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo willingly and gleefully talked to police about his crimes despite his lawyers' assertion that police manipulated a confession, Fairfax County prosecutors said in legal briefs made public yesterday.
In one case, Mr. Malvo chuckled as he recalled the reaction of a boy he shot at and missed.
"Evidently, Malvo found it amusing that as the errant bullet flew past the boy's head he swatted at the air as if a bee had buzzed too close," wrote Fairfax County Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh. "Malvo actually smiled and chortled as he recounted this event."
Mr. Malvo's demeanor during a six-hour interview in November in which he confessed to some of the sniper shootings proves he was not intimidated by police into a confession, Mr. Morrogh wrote.
Mr. Malvo's lawyers want the confession tossed out. They argue that Mr. Malvo's lawyers were not present and that Mr. Malvo made clear to police that he did not want to talk about the shootings.
Prosecutors do not dispute that Mr. Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the Nov. 7 interrogation, asked police, "Do I get to see my attorneys?" and later said, "My attorneys told me not to say anything to the cops until they got there" before confessing. But Mr. Morrogh argued that those statements fall well short of the clear demand for a lawyer needed to stop the questioning.
"At best it was an expression of some reservation in Malvo's mind that he elected to reject by waiving his rights," Mr. Morrogh wrote.
Mr. Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, 42, have been linked to the 13 sniper shootings in October in Maryland, Virginia and the District. Each has been charged in one of the 10 deaths Mr. Malvo in the death of Linda Franklin at the Falls Church Home Depot and Mr. Muhammad in the death of Dean Harold Meyers at a gas station in Manassas. Both face the death penalty.
Prosecutors have said the shootings that occurred during a three-week spree in October were part of a scheme to extort $10 million from the government.
When Mr. Malvo was arrested in late October, he said nothing to police who tried to question him. In fact, at his initial appearance in federal court, lawyers were unsure if the Jamaica native might need an interpreter.
But when he was transferred to Virginia for prosecution Nov. 7, he opened up to Fairfax County homicide detective June Boyle and FBI Special Agent Brad Garrett, who has been involved in many of the FBI's recent high-profile investigations.
The two officers offered Mr. Malvo something to eat, and he requested veggie burgers. It took about an hour to find and prepare the burgers, Mr. Morrogh wrote, and in the meantime the three engaged in small talk.
"After Malvo had eaten and the small talk was finished, he got right down to discussing the killings," Mr. Morrogh wrote. "At times during the interview, Malvo laughed or smiled. For example, he laughed as he described shooting [Mrs. Franklin] in the head."
Mr. Malvo signed a waiver to his Miranda rights, which guarantee the right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer, with an 'X,' evidently fearful that his signature could be used against him as a handwriting sample.
Mr. Malvo's decision to sign with an 'X' demonstrates that he "obviously felt free to decide for himself how he would respond to police questions and requests," Mr. Morrogh wrote.
Mr. Malvo's lawyers also argued that a federal magistrate in Maryland had ordered Mr. Malvo's court-appointed lawyers there to represent him in any related state proceedings. Mr. Morrogh argued that the Virginia case is unrelated to the federal charges Mr. Malvo faced at the time, and that the magistrate exceeded his authority by issuing such an order.
Fairfax County Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush is scheduled to hear arguments on the issue Monday. Both sides have agreed the hearing is a critical one.
While prosecutors have a variety of evidence in the case, including, ballistics and DNA evidence, they have no eyewitnesses to the shootings.


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