Skip to comments.Malvo can be tried as adult
Posted on 01/15/2003 8:25:28 PM PST by MeekOneGOP
Malvo can be tried as adult
FAIRFAX, Va. - Citing what he called strong circumstantial evidence, a judge ruled Wednesday that 17-year-old sniper suspect John Lee Malvo can be tried as an adult, making him eligible for the death penalty.
Juvenile Court Judge Charles Maxfield made his decision after a hearing in which prosecutors said that Mr. Malvo tried to extort $10 million from authorities during the killing spree and that fingerprints on the murder weapon and other evidence tied the teenager to four attacks, three of them fatal.
Mr. Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, 42, are accused of killing 13 people and wounding five others in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., last year. They are being tried first in Virginia in separate trials.
The extortion allegation is a key element of a Virginia anti-terrorism law that allows the death penalty for killers convicted of trying to intimidate the public or coerce the government. Mr. Malvo is also charged under a statute that allows a death sentence for multiple murders.
"They wanted to negotiate for money," prosecutor Robert F. Horan said. "They said, 'If you want us to stop killing people, give us the money.' If that is not intent to intimidate government, I don't know what is."
Defense lawyers argued that the evidence was insufficient because no eyewitnesses placed Mr. Malvo at any of the crime scenes. They also said the demand for money in the notes does not qualify as terrorism and questioned whether it should be interpreted as a motive for any alleged crimes.
"The request for $10 million sounds like something out of an Austin Powers movie," defense lawyer Michael Arif said.
Earlier, a detective who interviewed Mr. Malvo for six hours after his arrest last fall identified his voice on tape recordings of two threatening phone calls to authorities during the attacks. Both tapes were played in court.
"I talked to him long enough to know he's very smooth and well-spoken. I'd know that voice immediately," Fairfax County police Detective June Boyle testified. She described Mr. Malvo as calm, relaxed and even "jovial on occasion" during their interview last year.
Defense lawyers challenged whether the caller was even male.
Mr. Malvo is charged with the Oct. 14 slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin in Falls Church, Va. In all, Mr. Horan said fingerprints on the murder weapon, ballistics evidence and the notes and phone calls link Mr. Malvo to three fatal sniper attacks and a shooting outside an Ashland, Va., restaurant that left a patron critically wounded.
Mr. Muhammad faces trial in October in neighboring Prince William County for the Oct. 9 slaying of Dean Meyers at a Manassas gas station.
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Should lawyers be criminally charged and convicted for nauseating attempts to subvert justice?
*PLEASE FORGIVE ME...I was just channel surfing while FReeping.
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