- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2003

A Fairfax County grand jury indicted 17-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo on two counts of capital murder in last fall's sniper shootings, setting the stage for a death-penalty trial.
The indictment, issued Tuesday and made public yesterday morning, also includes one count of using a firearm in a murder. Both capital murder counts stem from the Oct. 14 slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin at the Home Depot in Falls Church.
The indictment officially marks the transfer of the teenager's case to adult court. A juvenile court judge ruled last week that Mr. Malvo known since his arrest Oct. 22 as John Lee Malvo while his case was in juvenile court and the records were sealed could be tried as an adult, making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted of capital murder.
His arraignment has not been scheduled.
Virginia law allows the execution of juveniles age 16 and 17. While Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. sought the capital murder charges, he has not yet said whether he will ask a judge and jury to impose the death penalty.
Mr. Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, 42, are accused of killing 10 persons and wounding three in the 20-day sniper spree in Maryland, Virginia and the District. The two also are suspects in killings in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.
The grand jury granted Mr. Horan's request for capital murder indictments under two statutes: one prohibiting the killing of more than one person in a three-year period, the other an anti-terrorism law enacted last year.
Mr. Horan said he expects Mr. Malvo's attorneys to file pretrial motions "by the ton," but believes the trial could begin this summer.
Defense attorney Thomas Walsh said a summer court date would be too soon. He said the defense has been given only a slight notion of the prosecution's evidence and has not yet been able to hire its own experts.
"We've been basically given no resources here," Mr. Walsh said.
Also Tuesday, a judge dismissed efforts by Mr. Malvo's court-appointed guardian to obtain police documents about the shooting spree that terrified the Washington area for 20 days in October.
The guardian, Todd Petit, argued that a provision in juvenile law gave him the right to seek a wide range of records from police and other agencies that had documents about Mr. Malvo. Prosecutors contend the information was being sought prematurely before the trial.
Mr. Muhammad is scheduled to go on trial in October in Prince William County in the slaying of Dean Harold Meyers at a Manassas gas station.

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