Friday , December 19, 2003
CHESAPEAKE, Va. —On a gut-wrenching first day in the sentencing phase of Lee Boyd Malvo's (search) trial, the daughter of sniper victim Linda Franklin testified Friday that she cries every morning and feels forced at night to repeatedly "watch that man shoot my mother in the head."
Katrina Hannum's testimony capped a morning of tearful statements from family members of the victims in the October 2002 spree.
Several jurors and many inside the courtroom wept throughout the testimony, beginning with prosecutors playing a heartbreaking 911 call in which Franklin's husband William sobs to the dispatcher that his wife had been shot in the head outside a Home Depot.
Hannum's testimony came just before the prosecution wrapped up its case around noon. The defense later called several of Malvo's teachers and expected to wrap up its case Monday.
Malvo, 18, showed little emotion, aside from hanging his head during a scolding from Myrtha Cinada, who lost her father Pascal Charlot (search) in the attacks.
"Because of you, he didn't have a chance to see his great-grandchild. That's insane of you to do. You're evil," she said.
Malvo was convicted of two counts of capital murder Thursday in the killing of Franklin on Oct. 14, 2002; the jury must now decide whether he should receive life in prison without parole or death.
Hannum testified her mother had been eagerly anticipating the birth of her grandchild, putting her hand on her daughter's belly and hoping for a kick.
After their last visit, Hannum felt the baby kick for the first time.
"I said to my husband, '(The baby) just said hi to my mom.' ... But I never got to tell her that," Hannum said.
Hannum also talked about how Franklin raised two children by herself after divorcing her first husband. Franklin worked in various locations around the world for the U.S. government, causing Hannum to attend nine different schools in five countries.
"My mother did a wonderful job raising us by herself. I didn't have a father figure," Hannum said, drawing a sharp contrast to Malvo, whose lawyers argued that his wandering childhood without a father figure left him vulnerable to brainwashing by sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad (search).
"Every day when I get up in the morning I cry," Hannum said. "I'm afraid to go to sleep. Almost every night I have to watch that man shoot my mother in the head."
During his opening statement, defense lawyer Thomas Walsh asked the jury to remember the difficult circumstances of Malvo's childhood. He also said that "but for John Muhammad, (Malvo) would not have been here."
Esmie McLeod, vice principal at a Jamaica high school once attended by Malvo, wept on the stand as she recalled Malvo's constant uprooting.
"We saw because of what was happening in his life, we were certain it was coming to a terrible end," McLeod said. "It was just not fair to Lee."
Winsom Maxwell, a teacher in Jamaica who briefly took Malvo into her home when he was 11, said she had mixed feelings about relinquishing Malvo to his mother. "I'm still thinking if I had just said no, Lee would not be where he is now," she said.
Prosecutors also presented evidence of an escape attempt Malvo made the day he was arrested, to demonstrate that Malvo could pose a future danger.
Franklin's death was one of 10 attributed to Malvo and Muhammad during the three-week shooting spree. The jury deliberated for 13 hours over two days before finding Malvo guilty.
Muhammad was convicted last month and the jury recommended the death penalty.
If the Malvo jury recommends death, Roush will have the option to reduce the sentence to life in prison. If the jury decides for life in prison, its decision cannot be changed.