Sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad made incriminating statements to authorities on the day of his arrest last year, court documents revealed for the first time yesterday.
It is not clear what he said about his involvement in the random shootings last October.
Mr. Muhammad’s attorneys filed a motion Thursday that was made public yesterday, asking a judge to suppress statements made by their client on the morning of Oct. 24. They argued that Mr. Muhammad had not been advised of his right to remain silent and his right to a lawyer when he talked to authorities.
This is the first mention of any cooperation by Mr. Muhammad. The other sniper suspect, Lee Boyd Malvo, has incriminated himself on at least two occasions in lengthy interrogations with law officers.
There was no description of what Mr. Muhammad said in the motion, and defense attorneys Peter D. Greenspun and Jonathan Shapiro could not be reached for comment.
“I am not going to comment on the statements or on the procedures used to obtain them,” said Paul B. Ebert, Prince William County commonwealth’s attorney.
Mr. Muhammad, 42, and Mr. Malvo, 18, have been linked to the 13 random shootings in the Washington area that killed 10 persons and wounded three during 20 days in October.
The two have been charged with two counts of capital murder each. Mr. Muhammad is charged with the Oct. 9 slaying of Dean Harold Meyers, 53, in Manassas, and Mr. Malvo with the Oct. 14 killing of Linda Franklin, 47, in Falls Church.
Mr. Muhammad’s trial begins Oct. 14.
According to Mr. Greenspun and Mr. Shapiro, their client was held Oct. 24 for “several hours” before being taken before a federal judge. At 10:07 a.m., they wrote, “interrogation of Mr. Muhammad was initiated by several law enforcement agents.”
Mr. Muhammad was advised of his Miranda rights at 11:28 a.m., his attorneys said.
“However, such advice was given only as an afterthought after extensive interrogation had already taken place,” Mr. Greenspun and Mr. Shapiro wrote. “Therefore, the statements attributed to Mr. Muhammad … were taken in violation of Mr. Muhammad’s various constitutional and statutory rights.”
Prince William Circuit Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr. will hear arguments on the defense motion at the final pretrial hearing next week.