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Defense to get Malvo's police statements

Judge: Prosecutors given January 8 deadline

John Lee Malvo
John Lee Malvo

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FAIRFAX, Virginia (CNN) -- A Fairfax County juvenile court judge ordered prosecutors Monday to turn over all statements 17-year-old John Lee Malvo made to investigators in Fairfax County about his alleged involvement in the sniper shootings.

The decision was made at a hearing during which defense attorneys argued they should be allowed to see the statements in which Malvo allegedly admitted to being the triggerman in the October 14 fatal shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot store in Fairfax.

Malvo and John Muhammad, 41, have been accused by law enforcement officials of being behind the series of sniper shootings that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area last fall, leaving 10 people dead and three wounded. The pair also has been linked to slayings in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.

No trial date has been set in the case. The judge will decide at a preliminary hearing scheduled to take place in two weeks whether Malvo will be tried as an adult.

Malvo could face the death penalty if he is tried as a adult and convicted of murdering Franklin.

At Monday's hearing, attorney Michael Arif argued that statements Malvo made during his reported seven-hour interrogation with Fairfax authorities are extremely important to the defense.

"Apparently everyone in the Free World has Mr. Malvo's statements except Mr. Malvo's defense team" he said, citing media reports.

Prosecutor Robert Horan argued the state did not have to turn over the statements because prosecutors did not intend to use them at the preliminary hearing.

Horan also denied the interrogation lasted seven hours; he did not elaborate. He said the defense would be entitled to receive the statements on a later date.

But Judge Kimberly Daniel ordered prosecutors to turn over the statements to defense attorneys by January 8.

She also ordered the state to hand over statements Malvo made to authorities in neighboring Prince William County during an investigation into the October 9 fatal shooting of Dean Harold Meyers at a service station in Manassas for which Muhammad faces trial on murder charges. Muhammad likewise could get the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors in the Fairfax case plan to cite Malvo's alleged participation in the Meyers killing because the capital murder charge they are seeking requires them to show Malvo was involved in another murder in the past three years.

In ordering prosecutors to turn over Malvo's statements in the two investigations, Daniel cited "the complexity and severity of the cases."

After the hearing, Arif said Malvo's statements will be helpful in cross-examining police officers and experts the prosecutors expect to call to the stand.

Prosecutors have supplied Malvo's defense team with ballistics evidence, autopsy reports and some notes left at crime scenes.

Sources have told CNN that Malvo also admitted to being the triggerman in another shooting that killed an elderly man in Washington.

CNN Correspondent Patti Davis and Producer Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.

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