- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2003

One day before the one-year anniversary of the first of the Washington-area sniper shootings, the two men suspected of the crimes were to be in the same room together for the first time this morning.

Lee Boyd Malvo, the 18-year-old suspect, will be called as a witness during the final pretrial hearing for John Allen Muhammad, 42, in Manassas.

It was not clear what Mr. Malvo will be asked or whether he will choose to testify.

Mr. Muhammad’s defense attorney Peter Greenspun said Mr. Malvo was called as a witness regarding a motion that is under court seal, the Associated Press reported. Mr. Greenspun said he did not subpoena Mr. Malvo.

Prince William County prosecutors and attorneys for the two suspects did not answer phone calls.

Mr. Malvo was taken from the Fairfax County Jail by Prince William authorities sometime before 8 a.m. yesterday, a spokesman for the Fairfax jail told The Washington Times.

There was no advance notice of Mr. Malvo’s move, and his extraction was kept secret from most people at the jail.

It will be the first time that Mr. Malvo will see Mr. Muhammad since the two were arrested about 1 a.m. Oct. 24 near Frederick, Md. Mr. Malvo’s attorneys say the elder man brainwashed their young, impressionable client and trained him to carry out the 13 sniper shootings that killed 10 and wounded three last October.

The first of the sniper’s victims, James D. Martin, 55, was shot in the parking lot of the Shopper’s Food Warehouse in Wheaton at 6:04 p.m. Oct. 2.

Two other motions are scheduled for argument at today’s hearing. One seeks to suppress statements by Mr. Muhammad to investigators after his arrest. Though Mr. Muhammad is rumored to have said little to police, this is the first mention in court of any statements by him to authorities.

Mr. Malvo has incriminated himself to authorities on two separate occasions.

The second motion seeks to bar the death penalty on one of two capital-murder counts levied against Mr. Muhammad. His trial, which has been moved from Prince William County to Virginia Beach, is scheduled to start on Oct. 14.

He is charged in the Oct. 9 shooting of Dean Harold Meyers, 53, at a Manassas gas station.

Mr. Malvo’s trial has been moved from Fairfax to Chesapeake, Va., and is scheduled to start Nov. 10. All pretrial hearings for both suspects have taken place in Northern Virginia.

Mr. Malvo is charged in the Oct. 14 shooting of Linda Franklin, 47, in the parking lot of the Home Depot in Falls Church.

Both suspects face the death penalty if convicted.

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