Judge Sets November Trial Date for Sniper Suspect Malvo

A judge set a Nov. 10 trial date Tuesday for 17-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo, who could face the death penalty for his alleged role in the sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington area.

Prosecutors had asked for a trial date in late June, while the defense had requested February 2004. Circuit Judge Jane Roush picked a date in between, saying it allowed twice the time normally granted under Virginia law for a speedy trial.

"I am not going to be ready by Nov. 10. It's an impossible date. It's not a realistic date," defense attorney Michael Arif complained.

Malvo is being tried in Fairfax County on murder charges in the Oct. 14 slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot store. Prosecutor Robert Horan Jr. has not yet said whether he will ask for the death penalty.

Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, 42, are accused of killing 13 people and wounding six in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. They are being tried first in Virginia because its laws allow the best opportunities for the death penalty.

Horan has said fingerprints from a rifle, notes to police and phone calls from Malvo link him to at least four of the sniper shootings.

Muhammad's trial in the slaying of a man at a gas station is set to begin in mid-October in neighboring Prince William County.