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Suspects Acted as Unit, Prosecutor Says

Court papers say Lee Boyd Malvo implicates alleged accomplice in last year's shootings.

February 26, 2003|From Associated Press

FAIRFAX, Va. — Sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo implicated his alleged accomplice as an equal partner in their shooting spree, with John Allen Muhammad acting as a spotter and calling out shots, prosecutors said.

In a legal brief made public Tuesday, Fairfax County prosecutor Raymond Morrogh also said Malvo made multiple confessions to the Oct. 14 shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, the case that is expected to be his first to go to trial.

The brief was the first official confirmation of reports from anonymous sources that Malvo had confessed to taking part in the multistate shooting spree last year that left 13 people dead and six wounded.

It also was prosecutors' first substantial description of the relationship between Muhammad, 42, and Malvo, 18.

The pair "acted as a unit," Morrogh said. "One would be the spotter, while the other would do the shooting."

Malvo also "claimed both were equals and either could call a particular shot on or off," Morrogh wrote.

Nothing in the brief indicates that prosecutors have any evidence that Muhammad fired any shots. But if the pair acted as a team, Muhammad could get the death penalty under Virginia's new anti-terrorism law, passed after Sept. 11.

Malvo's confessions are unusually detailed and are corroborated by other evidence, Morrogh wrote. He added that Malvo has expressed no remorse.

Morrogh wrote that the confession made by Malvo "was uncoerced and completely voluntary.... In fact, the defendant was calm and rather boastful of his doings."

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