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Grand jury considers Malvo indictment

Guardian denied records on Malvo

From Patty Davis
CNN Washington Bureau

Sniper suspect John Lee Malvo is escorted from court last week.
Sniper suspect John Lee Malvo is escorted from court last week.

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FAIRFAX, Virginia (CNN) -- A grand jury met Tuesday to consider indicting 17-year-old sniper suspect John Lee Malvo, but its decision will not be announced until Wednesday, officials said.

Following the closed hearing, Commonwealth Attorney Robert Horan Jr. refused to say whether the panel returned an indictment.

"You can assume he's going to be tried" on two counts of capital murder, Horan said.

Among those who testified before the grand jury was June Boyle, a Fairfax detective, who has said she interrogated Malvo for six hours after his transfer from federal to state custody. She also has said that she recognized Malvo's voice as the one who called police and demanded $10 million during last fall's D.C.-area sniper rampage.

Last week, a judge ruled Malvo can be tried as an adult for the October 14 shooting death of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, one of four sniper shootings prosecutors say Malvo carried out.

That decision means Malvo could face the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutor: Summer trial possible

Defense lawyer Thomas Walsh said Tuesday that he believes the case won't come to trial until after the trial of John Muhammad, who is also charged with murder in the sniper spree. His trial is scheduled to begin October 14.

Horan said he would like to see the trial start sooner: "I don't see any reason why we can't try this case this summer."

Authorities accuse Malvo and Muhammad, 42, of a series of sniper shootings that killed 10 people and wounded four in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Investigators also have linked the two to slayings in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Washington state.

Horan has said a number of pieces of evidence link Malvo to Franklin's killing and to

an October 9 killing at a Maryland gas station; the October 19 shooting of a traveler outside an Ashland, Virginia, restaurant; and the October 22 killing of a Maryland bus driver.

All the victims, said Horan, were shot from a distance with a .223 caliber rifle -- the same firearm police found with Malvo and Muhammad when they were arrested October 24, and which he said bore Malvo's fingerprints.

In addition, a fingerprint belonging to Malvo was found on a plastic raisin bag found near the scene of the Ashland shooting, he said.

Guardian to refile motion

Meanwhile, Malvo's court-appointed guardian said he will refile a motion to gain more access to Malvo's records after a Circuit Court judge turned down his appeal on the request.

The guardian, Todd Petit, said the denial was based on procedural factors. The motion initially was made in Juvenile Court, but since Malvo's case has been moved out of that court, the judge could not rule on the motion.

Petit said prosecutors have denied him access to information about Malvo, including school and medical records, along with transcripts of comments that Malvo made during his transfer to the Fairfax County police.

"They have fought to give discovery to the defense attorneys," Petit said. "They have fought to keep me out of the case. They have fought to keep me from seeing the juvenile when he is being questioned. It makes me wonder why they are fighting it so much. What are they trying to hide? That's what I'm trying to find out."

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