- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 10, 2009

UPDATED:

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said Tuesday he will not intervene to stop the execution of John Allen Muhammad, meaning the D.C. sniper will be put to death as scheduled at 9 p.m. EST.

Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, made the announcement in a news release that also stated he was satisfied the case had been reviewed by the courts.

“Accordingly, I decline to intervene,” Mr. Kaine said.

Corrections officials said Muhammad is meeting this afternoon with members of his immediate family, then with his attorneys later in the day. He does not have a spiritual adviser.

Exclusive: The Washington Times will post coverage later tonight from Sarah Abruzzese, one of four reporters scheduled to witness the execution.

Related TWT article: High court refuses to halt sniper execution

Earlier in the day, officials released a list of six state witnesses who will view the execution. The list includes a state trooper, a veterinarian, a Chesterfield County police detective, two federal law-enforcement agents and a Virginia Department of Transportation contractor.

Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor also said Muhammad requested that his choice for a last meal not be released.

The decision by Mr. Kaine not to intervene in the sniper’s execution came after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to stay the execution.

Muhammad’s lawyer, Jonathan Sheldon, has argued his client should not be put to death because he is mentally ill. Mr. Sheldon submitted a video presentation to Mr. Kaine last month that included audio of interviews with attorneys and mental health experts.

Muhammad, 48, was sentenced to death for the killing of Dean Harold Meyers, a civil engineer who was fatally shot while pumping gas in Manassas on Oct. 9, 2002.

He and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, then 17, are connected to the killing of 10 people over a three-week period in October 2002. Mr. Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without parole. They also are suspected in a number of other shootings across the county.

The execution is scheduled to take place at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va.

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