Lee Boyd Malvo is a convicted murderer who committed murders in the Washington Metropolitan Area for three weeks in October 2002. He befriended John Allen Muhammad who later became father figure to him. It is along with Muhammad that Malvo committed the crimes and killed many innocent lives. In 2009, Muhammad was executed, while Malvo is serving multiple sentences at Red Onion State Prison, Virginia. The brutality of their crimes made them psychopaths in public eyes. Their actions were termed psychopathic having serial killer characteristics. Despite this, some researchers believe that their behaviour and characteristics are highly debatable. In 2012, Malvo revealed that he was once sexually abused by Muhammad. As per Craig Cooley, one of Malvo’s defence attorneys, Muhammad tricked Malvo into believing that the $10 million ransom which they were seeking from the US government to put an end to sniper killings would be used to establish a society for homeless black children in Canada.
Childhood & Early years
Lee Boyd Malvo was born on 18th February, 1985 in Kingston, Jamaica, to Una James and Leslie Samuel Malvo. He spent most of his childhood in Jamaica.
Malvo was neglected as a child, as his parents were often absent. He was left in the care of others and was thus little supervised.
In 1998, Malvo and his mother moved to Antigua. It was during this time that Malvo met Muhammad, and by 2001, he entered USA.
When he was living with his mother in Miami, Malvo attended high school for a brief period of time, and later they moved to Bellingham, Washington.
Malvo was living in a homeless shelter where he developed a strange bond with Muhammad. He had begun to consider Muhammad as a father figure and would play chess with him.
Since Muhammad was a former member of US military, he also taught Malvo how to shoot and they would often practise shooting.
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In 2002, Malvo and Muhammad began to plan the attacks by touring around the country. They killed three people and injured one in Maryland and Louisiana in September.
In October 2002, they started their assault on Washington, D.C. area using a rifle. They created their own sniper nest in the trunk of their car and worked together as a team. While one would select the victims, the other one pulled the trigger. They ended up killing 10 people and injuring three others.
After the attacks, people in Maryland and Virginia were living in fear of the sniper shooters. The police too had difficulty finding clues to arrest them as they had no particular pattern and attacked anyone irrespective of age.
After their ninth kill, the duo sent a letter to the cops asking for $10 million to end the on-going terror. The case was finally solved when Malvo left his fingerprint on a document that was found at the scene of murder.
The two were arrested on October 24, 2002, when the cops surrounded the vehicle where the duo was sleeping. Few reports suggested that only Malvo’s fingerprints were found on the weapons. But Malvo confessed that Muhammad was the triggerman on first six shootings.
Trial & Prosecution
Lee Boyd Malvo was first arrested under federal charges but they were dropped. Later, he was transferred to Virginia custody and sent to jail in Fairfax County. There he was charged for two capital crimes: murder of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, and murder of one more person.
He was also charged with unlawful use of firearm. Many attorneys were appointed to represent him but later that job went to Craig Cooley.
The trail was moved to Chesapeake, Virginia where Malvo pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He stated that he was under complete control of Muhammad while carrying the crimes.
One of Malvo’s psychiatric witness testified that Muhammad had tricked Malvo into believing that the extortion money would be used to create a new nation for pure black young people in a Canadian society.
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On December 18, 2003, Malvo was convicted of all the charges by a jury. Few days later, the jury made a recommendation of giving him a lifetime sentence in prison without any possibility of parole. Finally on March 10, 2004, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
On October 26, 2004, he pleaded guilty to two firearms charges as well as murdering Kenneth Bridges and attempting to murder Caroline Seawell to avoid a possible death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison and eight years imprisonment for weapon charges.
When Malvo committed the crimes he was a juvenile and it was highly debatable if he would be getting death penalty or not. Since the crime was committed in two different states and both the states, Maryland and Virginia, had different rules when it came to death penalty.
Maryland allowed death penalty but only if the person was an adult at the time of the crime. But Virginia allowed death penalty even to juveniles. In May 2005, he was extradited to Montgomery County, Maryland under heavy security.
In 2006, he confessed that he was guilty of four additional shootings. On October 10, 2006, he also pleaded guilty of six murders in Maryland. In addition to this, he also told the police that he along with Muhammad killed Jerry Taylor in 2002. On November 8, 2006, he was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole.
Lee Boyd Malvo is currently incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison as inmate 1180834.
In 2007, he called a daughter of one of the victims he had killed to apologise for his misdoings.
It is also believed that he had sent a letter in 2010 to apologise to John C. Gaeta for shooting him.
In 2011, he wished to change his name in order to be safer around other inmates. But a Virginia Circuit Judge denied his request.
In September 2012, Washington Post interviewed him. In the interview, Malvo stated that he had been a monster; he also revealed that Muhammad used to sexually abuse him.
On May 26, 2017, a Virginia federal district court judge overturned his sentence of life without parole stating that it was highly unconstitutional. But, on August 16, 2017, Maryland Circuit Judge Robert Greenberg decided that the rules for Virginia and Maryland differed and the judge who imposed the sentence must have considered all factors before doing so.
In 2003, a TV film was made known as ‘D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear’ where Trent Cameron played Lee Boyd Malvo’s role.
In 2013, a film ‘Blue Caprice’ was made where Tequan Richmond played Malvo’s role.
Muhammad and Malvo’s mother had an affair when they met initially.