16 years after start of DC sniper spree, future of Lee Boyd Malvo remains unclear

WASHINGTON — The Beltway snipers shooting began 16 years ago in Montgomery County, Maryland, and didn’t stop until three weeks later, when John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were arrested.

Early evening, on Oct. 2, 2002, James Martin was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Shoppers Food Warehouse, in Wheaton.

Malvo and Muhammad were convicted of murdering 10 people in the spree, that spanned Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Muhammad was executed in 2009, for the Prince William County, Virginia murder of Dean Harold Meyers.

Yet, Malvo’s fate is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Malvo was sentenced to life in prison in Virginia for the Fairfax County murder of Linda Franklin.

He later pleaded guilty in Virginia’s Spotsylvania County, and received two life sentences. He also received life sentences for six murders in Montgomery County, Maryland.

In June 2017, a federal appeal court threw out Malvo’s four sentences in Virginia, and ordered he be resentenced, in light of Supreme Court rulings regarding life sentences for juveniles. Malvo was 17 at the time of the shootings.

Virginia has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond.

Similar attempts to require Malvo be resentenced in Maryland have failed.

Now, the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center has filed an amicus brief with the nation’s highest court, supporting Virginia’s request to overturn the order that Malvo get a new sentencing hearing.

The panel’s ruling that Malvo be resentenced “inflicts serious harm upon, and unlawfully revictimizes and disrespects victims,” according to the brief, filed by Russell Butler, representing the crime victims’ group.

The group says a new sentencing would violate the victims’ Constitutional rights of due process and would qualify as cruel and unusual punishment.

“Victims’ lives and pain can never be restored to their prior state and they have a right not to have to, unnecessarily, reopen and relive the nightmare of their loss at resentencing proceedings,” wrote Butler.

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