Sniper Suspects Face Va. Charges
Oct. 29, 2002
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SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (AP) _ The teenager arrested in the sniper slayings may have fired the shot that killed an FBI analyst, a prosecutor said Monday as Virginia charged both suspects with crimes that could bring the death penalty.
John Lee Malvo, 17, and John Allen Muhammad, 41, now face murder charges in both Virginia and Maryland in the three-week series of attacks that killed 10 people and wounded three. Alabama has charged them in a killing during a robbery. No decision had been made yet on federal charges.
In a separate development Monday, authorities in Washington state said that they had linked Muhammad to the Tacoma shooting death of a 21-year-old woman whose aunt once worked for Muhammad's auto repair business.
Muhammad also is linked to a shooting last spring at a Tacoma synagogue in which no one was injured, Tacoma police said.
Tacoma Police Chief David Brame said a citizen contacted the FBI last week and said he'd allowed Muhammad and Malvo to borrow his weapons, including a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun.
``As a result, we now consider John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo as suspects in the Keenya Cook homicide,'' Brame said.
Keenya Cook was shot in the face Feb. 16 when she opened the door to the house where she lived. Tacoma police spokesman Jim Mattheis has said Cook's family recognized Muhammad from news photos after his arrest in the sniper cases and called authorities.
In the synagogue case, Brame said a .44-caliber Magnum, borrowed from the same man, was used in a shooting at Temple Beth El between May 1 and May 4. No one was believed at the synagogue at the time.
Brame said there are no plans to charge the man who came forward.