WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments to reconsider the sentence of convicted Maryland sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, who was behind at least 10 killings in 2002.
Malvo is currently serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole.READ MORE: Kendrick Hasty's Death Ruled Homicide, Linked To 2016 Baltimore Shooting
He and John Allen Muhammad were arrested 17 years ago this month, ending the sniper attacks that paralyzed parts of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Transcript of Supreme Court argument over whether convicted sniper Lee Boyd Malvo should have one of his life sentences without parole reconsidered—because he was a juvenile at the time of his crime spree. https://t.co/Id8ytleiIO @wjz
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) October 16, 2019
Justices were divided after hearing arguments appealing Malvo’s sentence in a Virginia killing because he was a juvenile at the time.
In 2012, almost a decade after Malvo’s sentencing, the Supreme Court ruled giving a juvenile life without parole is unconstitutional if there is any chance they can be rehabilitated and are not “permanently incorrigible.”
“Juveniles are entitled to at least one opportunity to show that they are not permanently incorrigible,” said Malvo’s attorney Danielle Spinelli.READ MORE: Pasadena Man Died In Dec. 2020 As a Result Of 1984 Shooting, Medical Examiner Rules
Malvo was 17 during the crime spree. He’s 34 today.
Virginia’s solicitor general told the court that the 2012 decision only prohibited mandatory life sentences without parole for minors. He argued SCOTUS’ prior ruling “does not cover Malvo’s case.”
The eventual decision could impact thousands of other cases across the country.
Malvo shot Paul LaRuffa outside of his restaurant in Clinton, Maryland. Today, LaRuffa supports Malvo’s fight to have his sentence reconsidered.
He said his backing stems from wanting other juveniles to have the possibility of a second chance. “Life without parole sentences for youth are a problem,” LaRuffa said after the arguments. “Youthful offenders should have a chance at rehabilitation.”
Even if Malvo wins, it is unlikely he will ever be free again. He would have to appeal his multiple life sentences in Maryland and could face murder charges in other states.
Malvo argued the much older Muhammad manipulated him and orchestrated the murders. Muhammad received the death penalty and was executed in 2009.MORE NEWS: A Year Ago, Maryland Reported Its First COVID Cases. Today Gov. Hogan Will Honor Those Who Lost Their Lives To The Virus
Had the pair not been arrested near Interstate 70 outside Frederick in October 2002, Malvo said the next phase of their plan involved coming to Baltimore, murdering a police officer and bombing his funeral. They also wanted to bomb school buses. Malvo and Muhammad had previously been spotted at several locations in the Remington neighborhood.