Attorney: Malvo To Break Relationship With Muhammad

Teen Sniper Suspect's Trial Ready To Begin

WBAL-TV/November 12, 2003

Chesapeake City, CITY, Va. -- Sniper suspect John Muhammad wasn't in court on Tuesday because of Veterans Day, but there was new insight into his relationship with teen suspect Lee Malvo

Malvo's defense attorneys are revealing how he feels about Muhammad now that they are both on trial for their lives.

WBAL-TV 11 News reporter David Collins reported they were once inseparable -- a sniper team, according to investigators. Police considered Muhammad the captain and the father figure Malvo was missing in his life. Now, according to Malvo's attorneys, that relationship is over.

Malvo's defense team will zero in on that relationship during opening statements now scheduled for Thursday. Malvo's attorneys will argue that he was brainwashed by Muhammad while in his company.

"I think the key thing is the relationship and the degree of the indoctrination Muhammad brought to bear the affect and the rapid indoctrination that occurred from the very beginning of this relationship," said defense attorney Craig Cooley.

The defense plans to call Malvo's mother and his biological father as witnesses. Muhammad has also been subpoenaed.

Opening statements are scheduled Thursday -- a day after the jury is officially seated. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

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