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Malvo psychiatrist details seven shootings

Psychiatrist Neil Blumberg, left, and defense attorney Michael Arif are escorted to court Wednesday.
Psychiatrist Neil Blumberg, left, and defense attorney Michael Arif are escorted to court Wednesday.

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Malvo's attorneys say he was under Muhammad's control during the killings.
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CHESAPEAKE, Virginia (CNN) -- Defense psychiatrists testified Thursday about details teen sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo provided about seven of the shootings in October 2002.

Malvo, 18, is being tried in the killing of Linda Franklin at a Home Depot in Fairfax County, Virginia, October 14, 2002. (Full story)

Her death was one of 10 fatal sniper attacks that terrified Washington, D.C., and outlying areas. Three people were wounded in other attacks.

Psychiatrist Neil Blumberg said he spent about 50 hours meeting with Malvo on 20 occasions after Malvo and his companion, John Allen Muhammad, were arrested.

Prosecutors are challenging the defense's argument that Muhammad indoctrinated Malvo.

Muhammad, 42, was convicted of murder last month in one of the killings. The jury recommended a death sentence.

Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the attacks, is charged with capital murder, terrorism and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He likewise could face the death penalty if convicted.

Blumberg and another defense expert have testified that during the sniper shootings Malvo did not know right from wrong and was legally insane, as defined under Virginia law.

The testimony came as prosecutor Robert Horan Jr. ran down a list of the sniper shootings, asking Blumberg what Malvo told him about each crime.

Here is what Blumberg testified Thursday that Malvo told him about some of the shootings:

• The shooting death of James L. "Sonny" Buchanan, 39, in Rockville, Maryland, October 3, 2002.

"What he told me is that he had gotten up around six o'clock that morning, stretched, did some exercises, [ate] some honey," Blumberg said.

"He said Mr. Buchanan was cutting grass at a car lot. He saw him pushing the lawnmower. There was no one around. He said he was driving and Muhammad was in the trunk."

Malvo drove slowly and was about 60 to 70 yards away from Buchanan when Muhammad fired, Blumberg testified.

"He [Malvo] said he saw Mr. Buchanan grab his chest," Blumberg said.

After the shooting, Malvo drove a short distance away and the two switched seats, Blumberg testified. "He then grabbed the weapon and Muhammad drove off."

• The shooting death of Premkumar Walekar, 54, at a Mobil gas station in Aspen Hill, Maryland, October 3, 2002.

Malvo said he and Muhammad parked at a strip mall across the street from Walekar. He said there were a lot of targets and that Muhammad shot and they left.

"He [Malvo] was, I believe, in the passenger seat of the car," Blumberg testified.

• The shooting death of Sarah Ramos, 34, in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 3, 2002.

"He said that they parked the car, that he was the spotter, that John went into the trunk, that they were over a hundred yards away, that John shot, got out of the trunk, got into the driver's seat, gave directions and they left," Blumberg testified.

• The shooting death of Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, at a Shell gas station in Kensington, Maryland, October 3, 2002.

"Before going there they had gone to two other spots that they had planned out, but were too busy. There were too many people there," Blumberg testified.

"John took the shot from the trunk," he testified.

• The shooting death of Pascal Charlot, 72, on a street corner in Washington, D.C., October 3, 2002.

Blumberg said Malvo told him "they had driven to Washington, D.C. ... They had eaten at a restaurant. While they were there, there was some discussion about potential [shooting locations] in that area.

"Muhammad said when it got dark enough, they would do one."

"He told me that Muhammad did the shot from the parking lot of the restaurant. ... He [Malvo] was the spotter for that."

Malvo said the duo shot the man in Washington to demonstrate that "no place was safe," Blumberg testified.

• The shooting of Caroline Seawell, 43, at a Michaels crafts store in Fredericksburg, Virginia, October 4, 2002.

"He told me that they were in the Spotsylvania area. They had been to three different spots at a mall."

Blumberg said Malvo told him there were not many people there, and no police.

"After the shot a white van sped away. He said that's when authorities identified the white van as the primary culprit," Blumberg said.

Seawell survived the shooting.

• The shooting of Iran Brown, 14, at Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie, Maryland, October 7, 2002.

"Muhammad's plan was to possibly shoot between three and five children, not to kill them, no head shots," Blumberg testified. The idea was to have "a ripple effect," Blumberg said.

Blumberg testified that Malvo told him Muhammad decided to shoot someone at a school in an area different from where earlier shootings had taken place.

Malvo "told me he didn't like the idea but Muhammad said, 'Let's do it.' He went along with it," Blumberg testified.

"There was good concealment. They had gone there the day before on recon [reconnaissance]. There were three potential schools in that area."

The psychiatrist said Malvo told him Muhammad was the shooter and that he was the spotter.

Brown survived the shooting, but lost his spleen and parts of his stomach and pancreas.

CNN's Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.

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