Published May 19, 2006
ROCKVILLE, Md. – The teenager charged with John Allen Muhammad in the 2002 Washington-area sniper spree is expected to testify Monday against his one-time mentor, now on trial for six of the deadly attacks, a person close to the case said Friday.
Lee Boyd Malvo, who was 18 when the two were arrested, is also expected to plead guilty to the same six killings and be sentenced to life in prison, the person told The Associated Press, spoking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive stage of the plea discussions. The deal is not final, but Malvo will still testify, the person said.
Both men have already been convicted in Virginia; Malvo was sentenced to life in prison, and Muhammad, 45, was sentenced to death.
The pair is also suspected of earlier shootings in Maryland, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana and Washington state.
At the Maryland trial Friday, forensics analyst Walter Dandridge of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified that the high-powered Bushmaster rifle found in Muhammad's car matches the .223 caliber bullets taken from most of the 13 sniper shooting victims during the three-week spree.
Muhammad has been acting as his own attorney and has tried to show that no one saw him commit the crimes. But he must still contend with physical evidence against him, such as DNA and the ballistics tests.
On Thursday, FBI DNA inspector Brendan Shea told jurors that Muhammad's DNA was found on a gun sight for the Bushmaster, which was in a duffel bag in Muhammad's Chevrolet Caprice when he and Malvo were arrested in October 2002.
Muhammad's DNA was also a potential match for some of the genetic material found on the butt of the Bushmaster rifle stock, as well as a pen and a bag of raisins from two different shooting scenes. Malvo's DNA was recovered from several spots on the gun, according to court testimony.
The judge has ordered attorneys involved in the trail not to publicly discuss about the case, court filings show.