Attorneys for Washington, D.C., sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad are arguing that the differing theories pursued by prosecutors of the two suspects are depriving them of evidence, the Washington Post reports. The lawyers say that Prince William County, Va., has not turned over information that could help Muhammad fight murder charges and the death penalty, even though they have given the same evidence to defenders of Lee Boyd Malvo. The evidence includes transcripts of interviews with witnesses who said that Malvo was subservient to Muhammad.
Muhammad, 42, and Malvo, 18, are charged in the 13 sniper shootings that terrorized the region last fall. Prosecutors in Prince William allege that Muhammad orchestrated the sniper shootings. In nearby Fairfax County, prosecutors describe Malvo as someone who enjoyed shooting strangers.
Both prosecutors say the two acted as a team, but one portrays Malvo as a brainwashed child, and the other casts him as a cold-hearted killer. The theories have also set up unlikely alliances, as Prince William prosecutors have aligned with Malvo’s defense theory and Fairfax prosecutors with Muhammad’s.
The Post quotes Prince William County prosecutor Paul Ebert as saying that defenders “are entitled to exculpatory evidence, and some evidence may be exculpatory to one and not the other. We provided some information to Malvo that we felt might be potentially exculpatory to him and inculpatory to Muhammad.” Muhammad’s lawyers are “not entitled to it, and they continue to cry about it, for lack of a better word.”