ROCKVILLE, Md. – Convicted Washington-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo is seeking a broad plea agreement in which he would plead guilty to other 2002 sniper shootings that authorities have linked him to, defense attorneys and Maryland prosecutors said Tuesday.
The deal, announced as Malvo formally pleaded guilty to six Maryland murders, could be reached before his Nov. 9 sentencing for those killings. He is expected to receive six life sentences at that hearing.
Malvo lawyer William Brennan told Montgomery County Circuit Judge James Ryan that he hoped to use the time before sentencing to "reach a global resolution to Mr. Malvo's legal problems." Asked later by reporters for specifics, Brennan would only say that he would have "candid, frank discussions with some local prosecutors."
Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler said such a plea deal could mean Malvo may not serve his sentence in Virginia. Malvo could plead guilty to the Oct. 3, 2002, shooting of Pascal Charlot in Washington and serve his life term in the federal system, Gansler said. Federal prosecutors handle murder cases in the District of Columbia.
Gansler said the decision rests with Virginia authorities, who agreed to let Malvo and his one-time mentor, John Allen Muhammad, come to Maryland for new trials. Under an interstate agreement, Maryland must return Malvo after his sentencing.
Malvo, 21, is already serving a life prison term in Virginia for his 2003 conviction of murdering FBI analyst Linda Franklin at a Home Depot parking lot in Falls Church, Va., in October 2002. He later pleaded guilty to another Virginia sniper shooting.
Charges are still pending against Malvo and Muhammad for sniper shootings in Louisiana, Alabama, Washington and Prince George's County, Md. In addition, authorities and published reports have tied the pair to shootings in Arizona, California, Georgia, Texas, and Washington state.
In all, 10 people were murdered and three wounded during the October 2002 shootings in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Brennan and Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler would not say which shootings could be included in the larger plea agreement.
Another Malvo attorney, Timothy Sullivan, said Malvo has accepted responsibility for his part in the shootings and wants to make amends.
"Every single day this kid realizes the enormity of what he has done," Sullivan said. "Mr. Malvo is making attempts to redeem himself and move forward."
Muhammad, who was convicted in May by a Montgomery County jury and given six life terms, has already been sent back to Virginia, where he is on death row for a sniper shooting in Manassas, Va.
In May, while helping prosecutors win convictions against Muhammad, Malvo gave two days of riveting testimony that provided the first insider account of the duo's three-week rampage across the Washington region, shooting random victims with a rifle while using a beat-up Chevrolet Caprice as cover.
Malvo said Muhammad wanted to use it to extort $10 million and wreak havoc. He described how they mapped out shooting sites and worked as a team — one spotting random victims, the other firing the .223-caliber rifle.
He also laid out Muhammad's grander scheme to shoot as many as six people each day for a month, target school buses and police with explosives, and set up a camp in Canada where homeless children would be trained as terrorists.
Before testifying in May, Malvo also confessed to shooting two liquor store clerks in Montgomery, Ala.