McLEAN, Va. - Virginia Gov. Mark Warner plans to keep convicted snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo in the state so prosecutors can put them on trial again and seek the death penalty, despite several states' requests for the men's extradition.
Malvo and Muhammad were convicted last year for their roles in the October 2002 sniper spree that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area and left 10 people dead. A Virginia Beach jury recommended a death sentence for Muhammad; Malvo, 18, was given a life term by a jury in Chesapeake.
Several other states, including Alabama, Louisiana and Maryland, have sought extradition of the pair for murders they allegedly committed.
Pierce County prosecutors are weighing whether to charge Muhammad and Malvo in the slaying of 21-year-old Keenya Cook in Tacoma on Feb. 16, 2002. Cook was fatally shot when she opened the door of her aunt and uncle's home on East 34th Street.
Cook's aunt, Isa Nichols, was friends with Muhammad's second wife and sided with her in the couple's child custody battle.
Malvo and Muhammad can be extradited from Virginia only at the direction of the governor.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.
The most likely scenario would be to flip-flop the cases, with the Prince William County prosecutors who tried Muhammad getting the Malvo case and the Fairfax County prosecutors who tried Malvo getting the Muhammad case.
The conviction against Malvo relates only to the Oct. 14, 2002, killing of FBI analyst Linda Franklin in Fairfax County, so Prince William County prosecutors are free to try Malvo for the Oct. 9, 2002, murder of Dean Harold Meyers in Manassas without violating Malvo's constitutional protections against being tried twice for the same crime.
Spotsylvania County also has obtained capital murder indictments against the pair in the Oct. 11, 2002, death of Kenneth Bridges.