- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RICHMOND — A Virginia judge on Wednesday set a Nov. 10 execution date for John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of the 2002 sniper attacks in the Washington area that left 10 dead.

The attorney general’s office last week requested that the execution be on Nov. 9, but Prince William County Circuit Judge Mary Grace O’Brien chose a day later. The date, which falls on a Tuesday, was picked so courts would be open the day before in case they have to take up last-minute appeals, said Jonathan Sheldon, Muhammad’s attorney.

The date was picked during an early morning conference call with the judge, the attorney general’s office and Mr. Sheldon.

Mr. Sheldon said Muhammad will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for clemency.

Muhammad was sentenced to death for the slaying of Dean Meyers, one of 10 people shot to death during a 2002 rampage that terrorized the Washington area. Muhammad and teenage accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo killed six people in Alabama and Louisiana before moving on to Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia, where Mr. Meyers was shot at a Manassas gas station. Six others were wounded.

Malvo, who was born in Jamaica, is serving life in prison for the shooting spree.

Last month a federal appeals court rejected Muhammad’s argument that prosecutors withheld critical evidence and that Muhammad never should have been allowed to act as his own attorney for a portion of his trial because he was too mentally impaired.

The attorney general’s office said it was preparing a statement Wednesday.

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