- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 9, 2003

NORFOLK Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose said yesterday that he will not delay the release of his upcoming book about the sniper shootings, despite prosecutors' and defense lawyers' concerns about tainting the jury pool in the pending trials of Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad.
Chief Moose, whose constant presence during the three-week sniper spree made him a national celebrity, signed a deal with Dutton Books, a division of Penguin Putnam, to write a book tentatively titled "Three Weeks in October: The Search for the D.C. Sniper."
Chief Moose's plans for the book, to be released in the fall, are the subject of a county ethics review. County rules bar disclosure of confidential information and prohibit public employees from using the "prestige of office" for private gain.
Also, prosecutors and defense lawyers have said they have concerns that the book will contain information that should be disclosed in a courtroom.
Chief Moose, after a speech to the Virginia Press Association yesterday, said he will not delay the book's release and that the scrutiny of his off-hours work is a double standard.
"The Washington Post is writing a book about it. Nobody's asking them about it. It's all about what I'm going to do. If I owned a newspaper, nobody would ask me about it, I suppose," Chief Moose said.
Reporters for The Washington Post who covered the sniper shootings also have a book deal.
Chief Moose has said his book will not improperly disclose information and will not hurt the prosecution of the teenage suspect and Mr. Muhammad, 42.
The two have been linked to 19 shootings, including 13 deaths, in Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and the District.
Mr. Malvo and Mr. Muhammad are slated for trial in Virginia in October and November, respectively, around the same time the book would be released. Both face the death penalty if convicted.
Earlier last week, Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert, who will prosecute Mr. Muhammad, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he has concerns about Chief Moose's book.
"It's fraught with danger to start publishing books and putting information out there," Mr. Ebert said.
Peter Greenspun, who is representing Mr. Muhammad, has said the book's release in the fall "will make much more difficult the jury-selection process" and could force a delay in the trial.
Chief Moose has offered to let prosecutors review the book before it is published.
The ethics panel will consider Chief Moose's book deal at a meeting Thursday.

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