NORFOLK, Va. (WJZ/AP) — A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.
In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Norfolk said Malvo is entitled to new sentencing hearings after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.
Malvo was 17 when he was arrested in 2002 for a series of shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, causing widespread fear throughout the region.
His accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, was executed.
The duo was apprehended at a rest stop off I-70.
Malvo has been serving a life sentence at the red onion state prison in southwest Virgina.
In a previous Washington Post article Malvo spoke about Muhammad saying: “he picked me because he knew he could mold me. It was a military mission. He told me to do something and I did it.”
Earlier this year Malvo’s attorney moved to have the life sentence thrown out based on the 2012 Supreme Court decision.
Last year, the court also decided it would apply retroactively to sentences issued before 2012.
Maryland attorney Jeremy Eldridge is an expert in criminal law.
“This case was not remanded for a new trial only for a new sentence hearing. This is not going to be a situation where victims or their families are likely going to have to go through the stressors that you would normally have to go through in a life sentence case,” Eldridge said.
It’s unclear when Malvo will be re-sentenced.
Malvo will remain in prison until a date is scheduled for his re-sentencing.
According to CBS News, a hearing is scheduled in June to review the life sentences Malvo is serving in Maryland.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh, who helped prosecute Malvo, said the Virginia attorney general can appeal Jackson’s ruling. If not, he said he would pursue another life sentence.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)