Judge Refuses to Overturn Life Sentence of DC Sniper

(CN) – A Maryland state court judge on Wednesday declined to overturn the life sentence meted out to Lee Boyd Malvo for his role in the 2002 sniper shootings that left 10 people dead and three others wounded.

Maryland Circuit Court Judge Robert Greenberg held Malvo’s “physical, mental and emotional state” and the influence of John Allen Muhammad was given full consideration before he was sentenced to life without parole for six counts of first-degree murder.

Malvo, who was 17 when he and Muhammad carried out the murders, is serving his sentence at the Red Onion State Prison in the southern Virginia.

Muhammad, who was 42 when the multi-state crime spree occurred, was executed in 2009.

The DC sniper attacks were a series of apparently random shootings that occurred in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia over a three-week period in October 2002.

Prior to that, prosecutors said, Muhammad and Malvo, travelling in a blue, 1990 Chevrolet Caprice, carried out a series of murders and robberies in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington.

That spree, carried out in February 2002, left seven people dead and another seven injured.

Earlier this year, Malvo’s life-sentence without parole was overturned on appeal, with re-sentencing ordered pursuant to the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling in Miller v. Alabama.

In Miller the high court held that mandatory life-sentence punishments for adolescent criminals is unconstitutional.

Under the re-sentencing, Malvo’s minimum sentence to prison will be determined by a judge; the available maximum sentence would be life imprisonment.

Judge Greenberg’s option was to resentence Malvo to life in prison, or to hand out a lesser sentence, but he concluded the original sentencing judge “clearly concluded that [Malvo] was among the most uncommon of juvenile offenders deserving of a life time of imprisonment.”

Greenberg said under Maryland law, Malvo could have requested a three-judge panel to review his sentence within five years. Malvo did file preliminary paperwork to begin that process but never followed through and requested the review.

A federal judge has ruled that Malvo is entitled to new sentencing hearings in Virginia, a decision prosecutors in that state have appealed.

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