'I intended to kill them all,' Malvo says on tape

Associated Press/November 19, 2003
By Sonja Barisic

Chesapeake, Va. -- In a chilling audiotape played for the jury Tuesday, a soft-spoken Lee Boyd Malvo told police he pulled the trigger in all of the sniper attacks that terrified the Washington area last fall. "I intended to kill them all," said Malvo, then 17.

In nearby Virginia Beach, meanwhile, a jury heard more evidence Tuesday on whether John Allen Muhammad should get the death penalty for masterminding the attacks. Muhammad was convicted Monday in the murder of Dean Harold Meyers, killed as he filled his tank at a gas station.

Malvo, now 18, is on trial on charges of murdering FBI analyst Linda Franklin, who was cut down by a bullet outside a Home Depot. He could get the death penalty if convicted. Ten people died and three were wounded during the three-week sniper spree in Washington, Maryland and Virginia.

A little more than an hour of the tape was played for jurors, who were given transcripts because the sound was poor and Malvo's voice was soft. Several times, Malvo's interrogator, Samuel Walker, a detective with the Prince William County police department, is heard asking Malvo to speak up.

When the officer asked Malvo whether he squeezed the trigger in all the shootings, Malvo first responded, "Basically, yeah."

Asked to clarify, Malvo said, "In all of them."

Walker focused on the Meyers slaying, eliciting through a series of questions that Malvo shot Meyers in the head because Meyers was standing sideways.

"His body twisted this way, so I couldn't get a body shot," Malvo said.

"He went down," Malvo said when Walker asked what happened to Meyers after the shot was fired.

Walker testified Tuesday that he questioned Malvo on Nov. 7, 2002 -- two weeks after Malvo and Muhammad were arrested -- and "marveled at how intelligent he was."

He also said that Malvo was candid and cooperative and never appeared to be out of contact with reality during the conversation, which lasted an hour and 40 minutes.

Malvo's lawyers contend Malvo is innocent by reason of insanity because he was brainwashed by Muhammad.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Craig Cooley, Walker acknowledged that Malvo made some mistakes in his confession to the Meyers shooting, getting the color and size of Meyers' car and the location of the head wound wrong.

On the tape, Malvo said that the shootings were done for money, but that he and Muhammad were not desperate. Authorities have said the shootings were intended to terrorize the nation's capital area and extort $10 million from the government.

At one point, Malvo said there was no reason to cooperate because "the only thing I would want is my time, my freedom." He also said at one point: "I'm never going to be set free."

In the penalty phase of Muhammad's trial, a rabbi from Tacoma, Wash., testified about how his synagogue was shot up during Saturday services in May 2002. Prosecutors say Muhammad and Malvo committed the shooting.

Earl Lee Dancy of Tacoma, Wash., who let Muhammad and Malvo stay at his home, testified that Muhammad often made anti-Semitic statements.

"He said Jewish people were dirty people," Dancy testified. While the two watched a TV program on the Holocaust, Muhammad told Dancy that "he actually respected Hitler in a way because he basically tried to eliminate them.

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