Execution Date Set for Beltway Sniper Mastermind

September 16, 2009 - 12:15 PM
A Virginia judge on Wednesday set a Nov. 10 execution date for John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of the 2002 sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area that left 10 dead.
Richmond, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge on Wednesday set a Nov. 10 execution date for John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of the 2002 sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area that left 10 dead.
 
The attorney general's office last week requested that the execution be on Nov. 9, but Prince William County Circuit Judge Mary Grace O'Brien chose a day later. The date, which falls on a Tuesday, was picked so courts would be open the day before in case they have to take up last-minute appeals, said Jonathan Sheldon, Muhammad's attorney.
 
The date was picked during an early morning conference call with the judge, the attorney general's office and Sheldon.
 
Sheldon said Muhammad will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for clemency.
 
Muhammad was sentenced to death for the slaying of Dean Meyers, who was shot at a Manassas gas station during a three-week killing spree in October 2002 that left 10 dead in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
 
They were also suspected of shootings in several other states, including a killing in Louisiana and another in Alabama.
 
His teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, is serving life in prison for the shooting spree.
 
Last month a federal appeals court rejected Muhammad's argument that prosecutors withheld critical evidence and that Muhammad never should have been allowed to act as his own attorney for a portion of his trial because he was too mentally impaired.
 
The attorney general's office declined to comment Wednesday.