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Charges against sniper suspects grow

SPECIAL REPORT
• Interactive: The death penalty
• Interactive: Police close in
• Interactive: Suspects' trail
• Story: D.C. area victims

(CNN) - Charges against John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, continue to grow as various jurisdictions file charges in the Washington-area sniper shootings case.

The shootings claimed the lives of 10 people during a three-week period in October. The slayings occurred in seven jurisdictions in the Washington area. All jurisdictions are able to pursue their own charges in separate trials.

The following is a breakdown of the charges that have been filed and other legal action so far reported.

United States

•The Justice Department on October 29 filed a 20-count criminal complaint against Muhammad. The complaint did not name Malvo because he is a juvenile. The federal charges against Muhammad include: Conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States; conspiracy to affect interstate commerce by extortion and threats of violence; affecting interstate transportation by extortion and threats of physical violence; interstate transportation in the aid of racketeering; firing a weapon in a school zone; and use of a firearm during commission of a crime of violence causing death of a person.

Maryland

Montgomery County: On October 25, Muhammad and Malvo were each charged with six counts of first-degree murder in fatal shootings that took place October 2, 3 and 22. Maryland authorities plan to try Malvo, a Jamaican, as an adult and to seek the death penalty against him and Muhammad, according to Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler.

Virginia

Spotsylvania County: On October 28, a grand jury indicted Muhammad on charges of capital murder and conspiracy to commit capital murder. The indictment refers to an October 11 shooting death of a man near Fredericksburg and the October 4 shooting of a woman in Fredericksburg.

Fairfax County: No charges have been filed yet. The Fairfax County commonwealth attorney said investigators have evidence that shows Malvo was the shooter in the October 14 killing of a woman in Falls Church, The New York Times reported Monday. But Fairfax County prosecutor Robert F. Horan Jr. told CNN it was equally possible that Muhammad or Malvo was the shooter and that authorities are awaiting forensic evidence.

Hanover County: On October 28, Muhammad was indicted on charges of attempted capital murder of more than one person in a three-year period, attempted capital murder while in the commission of a terrorist act, commission of a terrorist act, aggravated malicious wounding, conspiracy to commit capital murder, use of a firearm in an attempted capital murder and use of a firearm in the commission of an aggravated malicious wounding.

Identical charges were brought against Malvo in the Juvenile Domestic Relations District Court, and the county will seek to prosecute him as an adult.

The charges are tied to the October 19 shooting at a Ponderosa restaurant in Ashland, which left a 37-year-old man in critical condition. A spokesman said the death penalty was not applicable in this case because the victim survived.

Prince William County: A grand jury indicted Muhammad on two capital charges of murder and murder while committing an act of terrorism in the October 9 shooting death of Dean Harold Meyers in Manassas. Other charges include murder conspiracy and use of a firearm. Similar charges were being brought against Malvo in juvenile court.

Prosecutor Paul Ebert said the double capital murder counts for one death were brought under a new law enacted after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Alabama

•A single charge of capital murder was filed October 25 against Muhammad and Malvo in the September 21 shooting death of a woman during a liquor store robbery.

Louisiana

•In Baton Rouge, authorities on October 31 issued arrest warrants for Muhammad and Malvo. The warrants were issued after ballistics tests matched the September 23 murder weapon with the same Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle identified in the D.C.-area sniper shootings. That rifle has now been linked to murders in four states and the District of Columbia.



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