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Source: Malvo admits to shootings

From Kelli Arena
CNN

John Lee Malvo, left, and John Allen Muhammad
John Lee Malvo, left, and John Allen Muhammad

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• Interactive: The death penalty
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Washington Post reporter Josh White tells CNN's Anderson Cooper that 17-year-old suspect John Lee Malvo apparently confessed to some of the sniper shootings (November 11)
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- John Lee Malvo, the teenager accused in a cross-country crime spree ending with the sniper shootings that terrorized the Washington area last month, told investigators he pulled the trigger in some of the shootings, according to a senior source.

The source said Malvo told investigators he shot and killed FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside of a Home Depot in Falls Church, Virginia, on October 14.

Malvo is charged with capital murder in that shooting and is being tried first in Fairfax County, the jurisdiction where the killing took place.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said last week the decision to prosecute Malvo in Fairfax County was "fact-based." But Justice Department officials would not comment on what Malvo had to say during his interrogation.

According to the senior source, Malvo described the sniper shootings as a type of military operation, saying he communicated with his partner using two-way radios.

Such devices were found in the 1990 Chevrolet Caprice in which Malvo and the other sniper suspect, John Allen Muhammad, 41, were sleeping when they were arrested October 24 at a Maryland rest stop off Interstate 70.

CNN reported previously that investigators said Malvo was the shooter in at least one of the shootings.

As for Muhammad, sources said he has not provided information that could be considered useful in his prosecution.

Malvo's court-appointed attorney released a statement Sunday chastising the police for releasing information about his client, saying it undermined Malvo's right to due process and a fair trial.

"The police are flooding the media and poisoning the jury pool with their own paraphrasing and subjective interpretations of statements made during an unconstitutional interrogation of our client," said the statement, released by attorney Michael Arif's law firm.

Arif has said police questioned his client last week for seven or eight hours without an attorney present.

"We ask that our client's right to privacy and effective representation not be interfered with any further," the statement said.

Malvo and Muhammad are charged in the October shooting spree over a three-week period in the Washington area. They also are suspects in September killings in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.

In all, the pair have been charged or are suspects in the shooting of 19 people, including the deaths of 13. Two other shootings are under investigation.

Authorities are holding Malvo in an adult detention facility pending the start of his trial in Franklin's slaying. Court officials said they had probable cause to suspect Malvo.

Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Horan said witnesses recalled seeing the teen at the scenes of three of the shootings. (More on the prosecutors)

Malvo and Muhammad also have come under scrutiny in Antigua where authorities said they suspect Muhammad forged documents to smuggle Malvo into the United States. (Full story)

In other developments in the case, Nathaniel O. Osbourne, the man detained as a material witness in the Washington-area sniper attacks, has been released after being held in police custody for nearly two weeks. (Full story)



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