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Malvo's cell is stark, isolated

From Jeanne Meserve

Malvo stays in a cell similar to this.

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FAIRFAX, Virginia (CNN) -- With no television, no radio -- not even a clock -- John Lee Malvo spends every minute of every day in an oversized cell under the scrutiny of a security camera.

"I don't know that I would call it a suite, but as you can see it is much larger and much roomier than the accommodations that any other inmate has in this facility," said Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry.

Instead of a standard 6-by-8-foot cell, Malvo is confined in a room usually used as a common area, or dayroom, at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center as he awaits trial.

"He is kept in this larger area so a camera can watch him 24 hours a day, in case he tries to escape or hurt himself," Barry said.

The arrest of Malvo, 17, and John Allen Muhammad, 41, at a rest stop in Maryland last month ended a three-week shooting spree in the Washington, D.C., area that left 10 people dead and three others seriously wounded.

In all, the two are suspected in 19 shootings -- 13 of them fatal -- in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Washington state.

Malvo is being tried as an adult in the October 14 killing of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, gunned down as she loaded her car outside a Home Depot in suburban Falls Church. Muhammad is charged in the October 9 killing of Dean Meyers in Prince William County.

Both are charged with capital murder, which means they will face the death penalty if convicted.

The camera in Malvo's cell is stationary. It's positioned to monitor Malvo only in the open dayroom and not in the shower or near the toilet.

Unlike many of the adult prisoners, Malvo doesn't have a cot for his mattress. It rests on the floor.

"The comfort level is not different on the floor or riser," Barry said during a tour of a similar neighboring cell. "In fact, there are about 100 to 150 other prisoners who are sleeping on the floor because of overcrowding."

Malvo is not believed to be a high suicide risk, so he is given a few personal items, Barry said.

"He is allowed to have some reading materials, cosmetics and a blanket. Cosmetics, meaning shampoo, toothpaste -- all of that," Barry said.

According to his court-appointed guardian, Todd G. Petit, Malvo also has a copy of the Koran and "Gulliver's Travels."

Mounted on the wall, he has a telephone on which he can make collect calls. Although the jail guards may monitor his calls, they are not doing so at this point.

Malvo eats one of the most unappetizing meals served at the detention center.

Petit, Malvo's guardian, requested the vegetarian loaf because it's the only vegetarian meal currently available. The brown and orange-tinged loaf resembles a flat fruit cake and is usually given to prisoners in disciplinary segregation.

Although the adults are often allowed to exercise in the yard, Malvo stays locked in his cell. By law, Malvo must remain segregated from the adults.

Other than during court visits, Malvo spends his time in the dayroom with cement walls, metal table and chairs, a shower and toilet.

He receives visitors -- only his lawyers and guardian -- in the same room.

"Jail isn't meant to be a nice place," Barry said. "It is a place to detain people or house them for their time of incarceration. So it isn't meant to be nice or pleasant."

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