- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo shows no remorse for a series of fatal random shootings last year, claims equal responsibility for the attacks, and refers to co-defendant John Allen Muhammad as his father, Fairfax County prosecutors said in court papers filed Monday.
The papers were a written response to a series of motions filed by Mr. Malvo's defense team seeking access to exculpatory information in the case.
In the filings, Fairfax County chief deputy prosecutor Raymond Morrough argues that Mr. Malvo, 18, should not be viewed as less dangerous than Mr. Muhammad just because he was a juvenile when the crimes were committed.
"Both this defendant and his co-defendant are very dangerous," Mr. Morrough states.
Mr. Malvo is charged with capital murder for the Oct. 14 killing of FBI analyst Linda Franklin. Mrs. Franklin, 47, was shot in the head as she was loading packages into her car outside the Home Depot store in Falls Church.
According to the papers, Mr. Malvo told "more than one person that he personally shot Mrs. Franklin in the head in the Home Depot killing."
"It appears from the evidence so far, that this defendant acted in concert with his co-defendant, operating as a 'sniper team.' One would be the spotter, while the other would do the shooting," Mr. Morrough states.
"Doubtless many friends and relatives of this defendant and co-defendant will have opinions as to who was more dominant or culpable. In fact, this defendant claimed both were equals and either could call a particular shot on or off."
While prosecutors have not yet announced their plans to seek the death penalty against the teenager, court papers released Friday indicate that Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan has prepared such a strategy.
According to the Code of Virginia, a convicted capital murderer can be sentenced to death if a jury and judge find that the defendant constitutes "a continuing serious threat to society" or that the crime was "outrageously or wantonly vile."
Mr. Horan stated in court papers that prosecutors intend to prove "both the 'vileness' and the 'future dangerousness' prongs as aggravating factors." and will point to the "substantial number of homicides, whether adjuducated or unajudicated, in which this defendant has been involved."
Asked yesterday if the court papers were confirmation of plans to seek the death penalty, Mr. Horan said it is premature to be discussing that issue.
"I've been in this business far too long to say what I'm going to do at any point in the future," Mr. Horan said. "We've indicted this man for capital murder. As with all capital murder cases, we go in phases. The first phase will be presenting evidence that he committed a capital crime.
Mr. Horan said his decision is being dictated by the legal process and depends on how much evidence Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Jane Marum Roush deems admissable.
"I do the same thing in every capital case because you have no way of knowing this far out what's going to get in front of the jury," Mr. Horan said.
Mr. Malvo and Mr. Muhammad, 42, are accused of killing 13 persons and wounding five others in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District last year.
Mr. Muhammad faces capital murder charges in Prince William County for the fatal shooting of Dean Harold Meyers outside a Manassas gas station Oct. 9. His trial is scheduled to begin in October.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide