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Virginia Denies Parole To Washington Sniper 20 Years After Terror Spree

Richmond, VA – The Virginia Parole Board denied parole to 37-year-old Lee Malvo, half of the Washington sniper pair who killed 10 people and terrorized Maryland, DC, and Virginia for three weeks 20 years ago.

Malvo was 17 years old in 2002 when he helped his adult partner, John Muhammad, target and kill 10 people in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia metropolitan area, WRC reported.

Malvo was convicted of capital murder in Virginia and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Muhammad was sentenced to death for his role in the sniping and executed in 2009 for the murder of Dean Harold Myers in Prince William County, Virginia, WRC reported.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held that teenage killers couldn’t automatically be sentenced to life without parole.

“Mandatory life without parole for a juvenile precludes consideration of his chronological age and its hallmark features — among them, immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the decision, according to WTOP.

And then four years later, in 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court made that ruling retroactive, opening up the door for numerous prisoners sentenced as juveniles to have their life sentences reviewed, WRC reported.

Attorneys for Malvo said their client deserves a new trial because of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that banned mandatory life sentences for juveniles.

That process has already begun in Maryland where the state’s highest court requested a resentencing for Malvo to be tried as a juvenile offender, WUSA reported.

Malvo applied for parole in Virginia the first time he was eligible for consideration and on Aug. 30, he was denied.

The parole board said it believed that Malvo remained a risk to the greater community.

The panel also said that to give him parole at this juncture would lessen the seriousness of his crimes, WUSA reported.

“Considering your offense and your constitutional records, the Board concludes that you should serve more of your sentence before being paroled,” the ruling read.

It is unlikely the remaining Washington sniper will be free in his lifetime, WUSA reported.

Even if Malvo is eventually paroled by Virginia, he would immediately be taken into custody by Montgomery County, Maryland authorities to begin serving his murder convictions in that state.

He also never stood trial for the killings that took place in other states as Malvo and Muhammad made their way from Washington state to Washington, DC via Arizona and Louisiana, WUSA reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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