DC Sniper Gets Life Sentence Overturned

Frederick Owens
May 27, 2017

- A federal district court judge has overturned the sentence of Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the two people convicted in D.C. -area Beltway sniper attacks almost 15 years ago, according to a ruling released Friday.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Norfolk, Va. ordered that Malvo receive new sentencing hearings in Virginia after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional. In 2016, the high court ruled that the principle could be applied retroactively.

Now, Malvo's case has been remanded back to Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to issue a new sentence.

Michael Kelly, spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, said Friday evening that the office is "reviewing the decision and will do everything possible, including a possible appeal, to make sure this convicted mass murderer serves the life sentences that were originally imposed". His Maryland lawyers are appealing in both state and federal court on the same grounds, and a hearing is set for next month.

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Virginia argued that Malvo waived his right to appeal when he entered his pleas.

Lee Boyd Malvo, 32, was one of two men found guilty in the series of sniper shootings in the fall of 2002 that killed 10 people, wounded three others and left residents of Washington, suburbs traumatized.

Malvo said he met Muhammad in Antigua and took to the road with him. Under Virginia law, a capital murder conviction requires either a death sentence or life without parole. Investigators later said Muhammad meant to kill his ex-wife, who lived in the Washington area. Muhammad, 48, was executed in 2009.

Malvo remains at the state's super-max Red Onion State Prison.

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