- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 23, 2006

2:50 p.m.

Lee Boyd Malvo, the snipers apprentice, told a packed Rockville courtroom this morning that he wanted to kill himself after John Allen Muhammad shared detailed plans for a shooting and bombing spree with the then-17-year-old.

“I sat in the bathroom and played Russian roulette for several hours, crying,” Malvo, now 21, testified. “I couldn’t pull the trigger. I broke down.”

Malvo, wearing a navy blue blazer over a white button-up shirt that was open at the collar, testified for almost three hours this morning as the last witness for the prosecution against Muhammad.

Muhammad, 45, is on trial for six murders in the county that were part of a three-week shooting spree that killed 10 and wounded three in October 2002. He already has been convicted for his part in the shootings by a Virginia jury and sentenced to death.

Malvo also was convicted in Virginia and received life in prison without parole.

Malvo, who initially told police four years ago that he had done all the shootings, said this morning that Muhammad, in fact, pulled the trigger in the first seven shootings.

At one point, as Malvo described the murder of cab driver Premkumar Walekar on Oct. 3, 2002, at a gas station in Aspen Hill, Mr. Walekars widow began to sob and had to be led from the courtroom.

Malvo will continue to testify through the afternoon about the remaining shootings. He could be cross-examined by Muhammad, who is representing himself.

Malvo described a conversation in July 2002 when Muhammad, who had acted as a caring father to the boy, abandoned by his birth parents, told Malvo of his plans to kill and wreak havoc in the Washington area.

The six-hour conversation took place at the house of Muhammads brother in Baton Rouge, La. Malvo and Muhammad sat on a log across the street from the house, Malvo said, as Muhammad revealed his plans for death and destruction.

“He said, ‘Were going to go to the Washington, D.C., area, and were going to terrorize these people,” Malvo said. “For a month, each day there were going to be six shots, six slayings every day for 30 days.

“There was supposed to be a next phase. The second phase was to create much more damage by using explosives,” Malvo said. “I was told we would get schools, hospitals, childrens hospitals.”

Many in the packed courtroom moaned, and family members of the snipers victims wept quietly.

Malvo said he had tried to persuade Muhammad just to get his children from his ex-wife and to go to Canada as Muhammad had said he wanted.

Muhammads three children had been taken from him in September by his ex-wife, Mildred. Muhammad had located her and the children in Clinton.

“I tried to explain to him that we should just get the children and leave. I asked, ‘Why? And he didn’t answer,” Malvo said. “He said, ‘No, this is what were going to do, and it’s final.”

Prosecutors spent an hour questioning Malvo about his childhood. He said he rarely saw his father after age 4 and that his mother and he were “estranged.”

Malvo said he was drawn to Muhammad when he saw the Army veteran with his son in Antigua. Muhammad had run away from the U.S. with his children and taken them to the Caribbean.

“There was a lot of discipline, but also a lot of passion,” Malvo said of Muhammads relationship with his then-12-year-old son, John Jr. “There was a bond there I had never seen before and experienced,” he testified.

Malvo’s mother left him there to look for work, he testified, and Muhammad “basically took me under his wing.”

“Did you ever tell him you loved him?” asked Katherine Winfree, the assistant state’s attorney.

“Yes,” Malvo said.

“Did he ever tell you he loved you?” Ms. Winfree asked.

“Yes,” Malvo said.

“Did you believe him?” she asked.

“Yes,” Malvo answered.

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