John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death in a northern Virginia courtroom yesterday after asserting that he had nothing to do with the October 2002 sniper shootings, reports the Washington Post.
Circuit Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr. imposed the sentence recommended by 12 jurors at Muhammad’s trial. Millette said there was “overwhelming evidence” of Muhammad’s guilt. “In capital cases, more than anything else we do in the criminal justice system, the jury reflects the conscience of the community,” Millette said. “These cases were so vile that they were almost beyond comprehension.” Muhammad, 43, probably will spend several years on death row. His accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, 19, was sentenced today to life in prison without parole. The two face additional murder charges in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., ane elsewhere, and probably will stand trial again.
Linda Franklin, 47, was shot to death outside a Home Depot store. In court, her daughter, Katrina Hannum, fought back tears. “She was a beautiful, caring woman who had nothing but love,” said Hannum, speaking directly to Muhammad. “I miss her. I miss her for my son, for my baby. . . . It’s so wrong; it’s so unfair.”