Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler agrees, though he objected to Ashcroft's 2002 decision to move the case.
"It has worked out for the better. If you are going to have a death penalty, John Muhammad — just like Tim McVeigh — is the poster boy for the death penalty," said Gansler, referring to the Oklahoma City bomber who was executed in 2001. At the time of the Washington shootings, Gansler was chief prosecutor in Montgomery County, Md., where six of the murders occurred.
Besides the 10 killings in the Washington area, Muhammad and Malvo were believed to have killed at least seven others in their cross-country shooting spree.
It began on Sept. 5, 2002, when a restaurant owner in Clinton, Md., was shot six times as he left his establishment. He survived, but a young thief, apparently Malvo, stole $3,500 in cash from him. Ten days later, the owner of a nearby liquor store was shot and robbed.
It was not until Oct. 3 that the shootings gripped the Washington area. At 8:15 a.m., a taxi driver was fatally shot while fueling his car. Fifteen minutes later, a woman was fatally shot in the head while sitting on a bench outside a restaurant. Less than two hours later, another woman was fatally shot as she stood next to her car. And that evening, a man was shot on a street in northwest Washington.
The shootings continued throughout the month. The FBI eventually used fingerprints on ransom notes to trace Muhammad and Malvo back to Washington state, where their shooting spree had begun. The bureau posted a public alert for the old Chevy Caprice the two were driving. And they were arrested while asleep at a rest stop along a highway in Maryland on Oct. 24, 2002. The killing spree was over.
Malvo was convicted of the murders, but because of his young age, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Via McClatchy-Tribune News Service.