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Second Washington DC-Area Sniper Suspect Found Guilty - 2003-12-18


A jury has found Washington-area sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo guilty of capital murder, meaning the 18-year-old could face the death penalty. The verdict comes one month after Malvo's companion, John Muhammad, was also convicted for his role in the series of shootings that killed 10 people late last year in and around the U.S capital.

Witnesses in the courtroom in Chesapeake, Virginia say the 18-year-old Malvo showed no emotion as jurors returned a guilty verdict following two days of deliberation.

Malvo was convicted of capital murder in the death of Linda Franklin, an FBI analyst who was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Virginia shopping center on October 14 of last year. He also was found guilty of terrorism for the effects the sniper shootings had on the community.

Malvo and his companion, John Muhammad, have now both been convicted for their roles in the shootings that left 10 people dead and three seriously injured in the Washington area last year. In November, another Virginia jury convicted the 42-year-old Muhammad and recommended a death sentence for him.

Malvo's lawyers argued that Muhammad had brainwashed their client and that the teenager was not responsible for his acts. But prosecutors insisted Malvo was perfectly aware of what he was doing and should therefore face the full consequences of his crimes.

The court tried Malvo as an adult even though he was 17 years old, not yet an adult in the eyes of the law, at the time of the shootings. Jurors must now decide whether to sentence him to death or to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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