- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2006

TUCSON, Ariz. — Convicted Washington, D.C.-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo confessed to police that he and John Allen Muhammad are responsible for the 2002 killing of a 60-year-old man on a Tucson golf course, Tucson authorities said yesterday.

“He admitted to the killing of Jerry Taylor,” said Capt. Bill Richards, commander of the Tucson Police Department’s violent crimes division.

Capt. Richards said Malvo spoke to police in Maryland for a two-hour period Thursday after he was granted immunity from prosecution. He said the shooting occurred while he and accomplice Muhammad were in the area visiting Muhammad’s older sister, Capt. Richards said.

Tucson police had long sought to speak with Malvo about the March 19, 2002, shooting of Mr. Taylor, 60, who died from a single shot fired from long range as he practiced chip shots at the Tucson course. The case had never been conclusively tied to Muhammad or Malvo.

Capt. Richards and Detective Benjamin Jimenez flew to Montgomery County this week to discuss the shooting. Detective Jimenez said Malvo was contrite and that he was sorry for Mr. Taylor’s family.

“He welled up a few times in tears during the interview,” Detective Jimenez said.

The detective said Malvo shot Mr. Taylor as the gunman lay in the bushes and Mr. Taylor was retrieving golf balls. According to Malvo, the two decided to shoot someone on the golf course after conducting surveillance in the desert, Detective Jimenez said.

Authorities said Mr. Taylor’s body was moved after the shooting and his wallet was near the body but nothing was taken.

Capt. Richards said that Malvo agreed to testify against Muhammad if Pima County develops a solid case to bring charges.

David Berkman, deputy county attorney for Pima County, said his office has not decided whether to prosecute Muhammad.

“We don’t have any of the [police] reports. We don’t have any of the statements, and we have to make a decision whether there’s sufficient evidence to go forward,” Mr. Berkman said. “There’s a lot of things that have to be considered.”

Muhammad and Malvo were arrested for killing 10 persons and wounding three others in the Washington area during three weeks in October 2002. They were accused of roaming the area with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle that they fired from the trunk of a Chevrolet Caprice at random victims.

Malvo is serving a life term in Virginia for sniper shootings there. He is awaiting sentencing for six sniper killings in Montgomery County during October 2002.

The two are suspects in earlier shootings that year in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and Washington state, and news reports have linked them to shootings in Florida, Texas and California.

Both were convicted of separate Virginia killings in 2003. Muhammad was sentenced to death while Malvo was given a life prison term.

They were sent to Montgomery County last year to stand trial for six killings there. Muhammad was convicted in May. Malvo is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 9.

Mr. Taylor’s daughter, Cheryll Witz, said Malvo’s confession brings closure and will allow her to move forward with her life.


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