Conway contended that there was “compelling physical evidence” of Muhammad’s role in the 2002 killing spree in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., that left 10 dead and three wounded.
Muhammad, 42, was a “principal in the first degree” or an “immediate perpetrator” of the sniper shootings, Conway said, citing ballistic evidence he described as “uncontradicted.”
Although 18-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo, Muhammad’s alleged accomplice, may have pulled the trigger, Muhammad shares equal responsibility, Conway said.
Opening statements in Malvo’s trial began Thursday in neighboring Chesapeake. Malvo is on trial in the October 14, 2002, shooting death of Linda Franklin at a store parking lot in Falls Church. Malvo has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. (Full story)
Judge LeRoy Millette Jr. ruled Wednesday that Muhammad could be found guilty of murder even if his alleged accomplice was the triggerman. Under Virginia law, a principal in the first degree or immediate perpetrator could be found guilty of murder, Millette said.
Muhammad faces charges of murder, terrorism, conspiracy and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The murder and terrorism charges could carry the death penalty.
He is charged with capital murder in the October 9, 2002, slaying of Dean Harold Meyers outside a Manassas gas station. He is eligible for the death penalty if the jury decides the prosecution proved Muhammad was responsible for at least two murders within three years