- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2006

Convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad has put his accomplice at the top of a list of witnesses he plans to call for his upcoming defense against six murder charges in Montgomery County resulting from the Washington-area sniper killings.

The handwritten list of potential witnesses includes about 170 names. Muhammad, who is conducting his own legal defense, wrote that his witness list includes 354 persons the prosecution may call as witnesses.

Muhammad, 45, submitted the list yesterday during a pretrial hearing in Rockville before Circuit Judge James Ryan.

Muhammad’s witness list includes law-enforcement officers from several jurisdictions, including Maryland, Washington state and Alabama as well as federal agents.

Some names included job titles, phone numbers, addresses and Social Security numbers.

The list includes Lee Boyd Malvo, his accomplice who was 17 at the time of the October 2002 sniper shootings in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Muhammad told the judge that his witness list could grow.

The judge also discussed efforts to get Muhammad a standby attorney, in case Muhammad decided he needed help with his case along the way. Judge Ryan said he asked the state and local bar associations whether any lawyers would be interested in going on standby, and he received two inquiries. One lawyer decided not to participate, but a team of two lawyers are considering it.

The judge said he would let Muhammad know whether they decided to help.

“I would appreciate that,” Muhammad said.

Muhammad acted as his own defense counsel for two days during his trial in Virginia Beach before he brought back his court-appointed attorneys.

Muhammad used the time to express concerns that he had not received a complete collection of 911 calls he thought prosecutors had as part of their case.

“I’ve asked repeatedly for these,” Muhammad said.

Prosecutor Katherine Winfree said that all transcribed 911 calls in the prosecution’s possession have been made available to him and that Muhammad was trying to stall the case.

Muhammad also said he was concerned about jurors being told the trial was expected to last five weeks. He said he didn’t want jurors to get impatient if the trial lasted longer than that.

Judge Ryan assured him that jurors would be informed that the trial could take longer.

Muhammad is scheduled to go on trial May 1 for six slayings in October 2002. The killings were part of a three-week shooting rampage in the Washington area that killed 10 persons and wounded three. He was convicted in Virginia Beach and sentenced to death for killing Dean Harold Meyers at a Manassas gas station.

Malvo was convicted in Fairfax County of killing Linda Franklin in the parking garage of the Falls Church Home Depot and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. He is to stand trial in Montgomery County later.

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