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The 2002 D.C. Sniper attacks and Malvo’s 2017 trial

image courtesy wn.com

image courtesy wn.com

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The Beltway attacks were a mass dark serial killing committed by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. between October 2 and October 10th, 2002.  More recently in August of 2017, Malvo was retried for his past crimes.

At the time of the attacks, Muhammad was 41 and had become a father figure to Malvo who was 17.  Malvo had been taken in by Muhammad, many believe, because Muhammad could easily brainwash him as a child with no prior guidance to follow his orders. The crimes resulted in 17 murders and 10 attempted murders. They used a Bushmaster XM-15 Rifle and a hollowed out trunk of a blue Caprice to commit the murders.  Malvo had enough space after they hollowed out the back seats to lay down and shoot out a hole that they cut in the trunk door.

The police had a tremendous amount of difficulty trying to solve the murders because they were all radically different people; there was no way to connect them. However, eventually they were tipped off by eyewitness accounts that they had been seeing a blue Caprice near the crime scene. This spiraled a lot of connections, and eventually they were able to run the plates when Muhammad was pulled over in his Caprice for a routine traffic stop. Information for CNN

Muhammad was given the death penalty by lethal injection, and Malvo was sentenced to 6 life sentences. In May, 2017 a federal judge ordered for Malvo to be re-sentenced for the crimes in Virginia. Although in a later trial for the sentencing in August, 2017 a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge did not approve the appeal for a shorter sentence. “The six consecutive life-without-parole sentences were imposed after a full consideration of Defendant’s physical, mental, and emotional state,” ruled Judge Robert Greenberg. Information from Washington Top News

The original concern was that Malvo was very young, too young for such a harsh sentence. On the contrary, he murdered 10 civilians who were completely innocent. He also took a plea deal in 2002 and admitted to all of the murders.  From a law standpoint, its hard to re-sentence someone who owned up to their crimes and agreed with their sentencing.

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