Details about how police and prosecutors from many jurisdictions combined to handle the case against sniper suspects John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo are disclosed in a new book by Washington Post reporters Sari Horwitz and Michael Ruane.
The Post today concluded a series of five excerpts. Earlier installments can be seen on the Post’s Web site, www.washingtonpost.com. Muhammad’s first trial begins next week.
Today’s concluding piece describes tension between U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio and Gary Bald, FBI chief agent in Baltimore, over lengthy questioning of the suspects before they appeared in court.
The book quotes DiBiagio as telling Bald on the day of their arrests: “I need an initial appearance in Baltimore today. They were arrested at 3 a.m. They will have been in custody 12 hours at 3 p.m.” Bald told him the two were being interviewed at that moment and he didn’t want to interrupt. “I order you to immediately bring the two defendants for their initial appearance,” DiBiagio said.
“Tom,” Bald repeated, “they’re in the middle of being interviewed. I’m not going to stop it.”
The book said DiBiagio said the law called for both suspects to be brought before a judge without delay, or there might be legal problems. Still, Bald was determined not to disrupt the questioning. “Tom,” he said, “I ain’t doing it.”