(CN) – A Virginia judge set a Nov. 10 execution date for John Allen Muhammad, the convicted mastermind of the 2002 sniper attacks in Washington, D.C.
The so-called “Beltway sniper” shot 16 people, killing 10, during a three-week shooting rampage in the D.C. metropolitan area in October 2002.
Muhammad appealed his conviction and capital sentence to the 4th Circuit, claiming prosecutors buried an FBI criminal analysis that pointed to a lone sniper. Muhammad said the harsh death sentence was based, in part, on the prosecution’s claim that he had influenced his teen accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo.
Malvo was 17 when he was arrested, and the two were suspected of shooting murders in Louisiana and Alabama before the D.C. sniper shootings.
Malvo is serving life in prison.
Muhammad was sentenced to death for gunning down Dean Meyers at a gas station during the 2002 rampage.
He said the government concealed Malvo’s letters to another inmate, which allegedly showed that he was not Muhammad’s puppet, but had been thinking independently during the shootings.
Muhammad also claimed that he never should have been allowed to represent himself, that the government misused witness testimony, and that the trial court improperly barred him from presenting evidence about his childhood abuse.
The 4th Circuit acknowledged that information had been withheld, but ruled that the omission didn’t prejudice the case against Muhammad.
The attorney general’s office and Muhammad’s attorney, Jonathan Sheldon, agreed on Nov. 10 as the execution date.