May 30, 2006 – The mastermind behind the October 2002 Washington, D.C.-area sniper shootings was found guilty of six more murders Tuesday after a trial in which he acted as his own lawyer and the star witness was his teen sidekick Lee Boyd Malvo.
Last week, Malvo testified against John Allen Muhammad, the man prosecutors say was his manipulator. During two days of testimony last week, Malvo, now 21, gave the first inside account of the shootings and described Muhammad's elaborate plans to terrorize the nation.
A plea deal will allow Malvo to receive life in prison – the maximum sentence after the Supreme Court's ruling in 2005 that found the execution of juvenile killers unconstitutional. Malvo was 17 at the time of the shootings.
Muhammad, 45, already is serving a death sentence in Virginia for a murder there. The most he can get for the six Maryland killings is life in prison without parole, CNN reported.
On Oct. 24, 2002, the killing combo was arrested. At that time, Malvo confessed to being the gunman in all the shootings. He later took the comments back, telling mental health experts that Muhammad was the triggerman in nearly all of the deaths.
Muhammad received a death sentence, while Malvo got life after being convicted in Virginia for a sniper murder.
In Muhammad’s first trial, Malvo was asked to take the stand; he refused, resorting to his constitutional right against self-incrimination.
The sniper spree, which horrified residents of D.C. and neighboring communities in Maryland and Virginia, left 10 people dead and three wounded.
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