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Maryland to Try Beltway Snipers Next

Snipers John Allen Muhammad (search) and Lee Boyd Malvo will stand trial next in Maryland, where six of the 10 slayings that terrorized the Washington area in the fall of 2002 took place, Virginia's governor decided Tuesday.

Muhammad, 44, and Malvo, 20, will be sent across the Potomac River to stand trial, Gov. Mark R. Warner (search) said.

Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler (search) said he planned to try both men on the six murder charges the county filed against them a day after their arrest.

"These defendants need to be tried under another set of laws and another set of facts as an insurance policy," Gansler said.

Both men have been convicted of murder in Virginia: Muhammad was sentenced to death in 2003; Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Other states also wanted custody of the pair, including Louisiana and Alabama.

Three of the slayings occurred in Virginia, but prosecutors completed their work Friday when Hanover County authorities chose not to try the pair in the wounding of a Florida man outside a steakhouse about 75 miles south of Washington.

Relatives of some of the Montgomery County victims said they were pleased the case will now be tried there.

"At least they will now answer for my son," said Sonia Wills, mother of bus driver Conrad Johnson, who was killed Oct. 22, 2002 in Aspen Hill. "They were only tried for a few of those Virginia victims. In Maryland, they need to answer."