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Sniper Suspect May Not Be Forced to Testify

October 08, 2003|From Associated Press

MANASSAS, Va. — Prosecutors at least temporarily withdrew their motion Tuesday to summon sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo to testify in the case against fellow suspect John Allen Muhammad.

At a hearing in Prince William County Circuit Court, Commonwealth's Atty. Paul Ebert said it was still possible they would change their minds and call Malvo to testify. Muhammad goes on trial next week.

Malvo last week invoked his 5th Amendment rights and refused to discuss his relationship with Muhammad. Malvo's appearance at the pretrial hearing brought the suspects into the same room for the first time since their arrests last year.

After Tuesday's hearing, Muhammad's lawyers said prosecutors had arranged Malvo's appearance to set up a confrontation between the pair and stir media interest in the case. During Malvo's appearance, the pair showed no visible reaction to each other.

Malvo was summoned to the courtroom last week to determine if he would testify. The judge had deferred a ruling on whether Malvo might be required to answer certain questions until Tuesday's hearing.

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