Washington, D.C., sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo was “under the spell” of John Allen Muhammad, and every aspect of the teenager’s life was controlled by the man he looked to as a father figure, a Malvo attorney says, hinting at a possible defense theory in his murder trial.
The Washington Post says attorney Michael S. Arif describes his client as Muhammad’s puppet long before last fall’s sniper shootings, in which the two men are charged. He said Malvo turned into a different person when he arrived in the U.S. from Antigua under Muhammad’s care.
Malvo’s attorneys pointed to “the potential of false or exaggerated confession” — a reference to Malvo’s lengthy interview with police after his arrest in October. Malvo boastfully took responsibility for some of the shootings, but Arif said Malvo’s statement contained inaccuracies, even giving bad information about a killing he is charged with.