Sentence overturned for teen in ‘Beltway Sniper’ crime spree

Posted at 6:36 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 18:36:31-04

NORFOLK, Va. --  A federal district court judge overturned the sentence of Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the two people convicted in the Beltway sniper attacks, according to WTVR.

The case has now been remanded back to both Spotsylvania County Circuit Court and Chesapeake City Circuit courts for a new sentencing hearing, according to online court documents.

Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the sniper-style attacks committed in October 2002, along with John Allen Muhammad.

In January 2017, Richmond defense attorney Craig Cooley asked a judge to toss out the life sentence against Malvo, because the U.S. Supreme Court has since ruled it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole, without a sentencing hearing. Malvo could still be resentenced to life in prison without parole.

A total of 10 people were killed and three others were shot during a three-week period that left residents of D.C., Virginia, and Maryland on edge.

Muhammad was executed in 2009 for the killings.

Malvo was 17 at the time, a reason that Cooley said he took the case. He said in a previous interview with WTVR that the motivation was simple: No civilized country – in fact no other country – sanctions the execution of juveniles.

Cooley said he believes Malvo was the first and most carefully planned victim in the murder spree, orchestrated by his father-figure,  Muhammad.

A year after the jury unanimously spared Malvo’s life – perhaps coincidentally - the U.S. Supreme Court ruled executing juveniles was no longer Constitutional. [Read Holmberg's interview with Mr. Cooley, here.]