- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Lee Boyd Malvo, 18, was told that he could remain silent but laughed repeatedly as he told about some of the shootings that could result in his execution, a homicide detective testified yesterday in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
   “He was laughing. I asked where he shot her. He laughed and pointed at his head,” Detective June Boyle testified, referring to the slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, on Oct. 14 outside the Home Depot in Falls Church.
   At least once a shot was fired at a boy. Detective Boyle asked whether it was close, and, she said, Mr. Malvo replied, “It might have even parted his hair.”
   During six hours of questioning after his case was transferred from federal prosecutors to Fairfax County, Mr. Malvo, then 17, also laughed about the shooting of James “Sonny” Buchanan, 39, the second of five victims in Montgomery County on Oct. 3, as he was mowing the lawn behind a car dealership.
   “He was laughing about that. After he shot the man, the lawn mower just kept going down the street,” Detective Boyle testified, talking about what Mr. Malvo said.
   Court-appointed defense attorneys are trying to have Mr. Malvo’s confession thrown out before he goes on trial Nov. 10 for the slaying of Mrs. Franklin. They also contend that he was not told of his rights to not talk to police and to have his attorneys present.
   Yesterday, three attorneys and a guardian testified that they could not find the youth and that officers were late in response to requests to see Mr. Malvo.
   At the end of the day in court, defense attorney Craig S. Cooley asked Judge Jane Marum Roush to intervene in discipline measures the jail had imposed on Mr. Malvo.
   He has been charged with threatening other inmates, drawing graffiti on his cell wall and foul behavior. Most recently, he was put on a diet of vegetarian loaf as punishment.
   “He hasn’t been eating,” attorney Michael S. Arif said. “He gets diarrhea.”
   Judge Roush told Mr. Cooley to speak to the county sheriff about the diet and that the sheriff could confer with her.
   “I don’t want to tell the sheriff how to run his department,” Judge Roush said.
   Todd Petit, who said he was appointed Mr. Malvo’s guardian Nov. 7, said that when he tried to see Mr. Malvo and ask that the questioning stop, police told him they would speak to the interrogators but took their time about doing it.
   One officer, with a phone on his shoulder, walked away and “said someone by the name of Todd Petit wanted to talk to his client and wanted the questioning stopped,” Mr. Petit said.
   But Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. in cross-examination presented a document that showed that Mr. Petit was not appointed as guardian until Nov. 8.
   Attorneys Lisa Greenman, Joshua Treen and Robert Tucker testified that they were assigned to Mr. Malvo’s case while he was held with fellow suspect John Allen Muhammad in Baltimore and charged by federal indictment with the sniper killings in Maryland.
   But, they testified, when they went to talk with Mr. Malvo, they learned the federal charges had been dropped. They said authorities would not tell them where the two sniper suspects had been taken.
   Mr. Horan emphasized that the federal charges did not include the killings in Virginia and suggested that the federal appointments did not carry over to Virginia.
   Mr. Malvo and Mr. Muhammad, 42, have been linked to the 13 sniper shootings, 10 of them fatal, in the Washington area in October. Mr. Muhammad will be tried in Prince William County in the death of Dean Harold Meyers, who was shot at a gas station near Manassas.
   Detective Boyle said Mr. Malvo was served, at his request, two vegetarian burgers before he started talking and answering questions. She said she advised him of his Miranda rights to remain silent and rights to have his attorney present.
   “If I don’t want to answer, I won’t” she quoted him as saying.
   Detective Boyle said she told him, “yes,” when he asked, “Do I get to see my attorney?” and “My attorney told me not to say anything to the cops until they got there.”
   Mr. Treen said, “We had instructed him not to speak.”
   Mr. Malvo must have followed some instructions from his attorneys, Mr. Horan said. In 52 pages of transcripts, Mr. Malvo did not say a word as a judge asked whether he knew about his rights and the legal process.
   “My client followed my instructions,” Mr. Treen said.
   This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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