17-year-old Jamaican-born Lee Boyd Malvo was arrested in 2002 and dubbed one of the most notorious snipers in Virginia. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but a federal judge yesterday overturned that sentence.
Lee Boyd Malvo was convicted of capital murder, which under Virginia law requires either a death sentence or life without parole. The death sentence was sought by prosecutors; however, a jury opted for life imprisonment instead.
In 2002, there was a series of killing that left 10 people dead and 3 wounded in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo are said to be responsible for the death and injuries of the citizens.
A judge agreed to move Lee’s first trail from Chesapeake to Fairfax because of pretrial publicity. Lee then negotiated a plea bargain in Spotsylvania County and agreed to a life sentence.
John Allen Muhammad, the co-conspirator of Lee was executed in 2009.
US District Judge Raymond Jackson yesterday tossed out the two life sentences for Lee Boyd Malvo and ordered Virginia courts hold new sentencing hearings.
In his ruling, the federal judge in Norfolk said Lee is entitled to new sentencing hearings after the US Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.
US District Judge Raymond Jackson, in his ruling, also wrote that Lee was entitled to a new sentencing hearing because the Supreme Court’s ruling grants new rights to juveniles that Lee did not know he had when he agreed to the plea bargain.
Ray Morrogh, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, who assisted in prosecuting Lee Boyd Malvo in 2003, said he believes Lee meets the criteria for a harsh sentence and Virginia’s attorney general can appeal Raymond Jackson’s ruling. If not, Ray Morrogh said he would pursue another life sentence.
Lee Boyd Malvo was also sentenced to life in prison in Maryland for the murders that occurred there. Lee’s lawyers have made an appeal on similar grounds in that state. A hearing is scheduled in June.
Written by Stacey Fowler