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Meserve: Testimony finds Malvo jurors in tears

CNN correspondent Jeanne Meserve
CNN's Jeanne Meserve

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A jury finds Lee Boyd Malvo guilty on three counts in the sniper killings.
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MALVO: WHAT'S NEXT
Lee Boyd Malvo was charged with three counts: terrorism, capital murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to all three charges. A look at the verdicts and possible punishments:

VERDICTS
Terrorism
• Guilty

Capital murder
(Killing more than one person in a 3-year period)
• Guilty

Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
• Guilty.

POSSIBLE PENALTIES:
• Terrorism is punishable by either death or life without parole.
• Capital murder is punishable by either death or life without parole.
• Use of a firearm has a mandatory three-year sentence.
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CHESAPEAKE, Virginia (CNN) -- In emotional testimony Friday, family members of the Washington-area sniper victims described their heartache and grief after the killings as the sentencing phase in Lee Boyd Malvo's trial began.

Malvo, 18, was found guilty Thursday of killing FBI analyst Linda Franklin in Falls Church during the October 2002 sniper shootings. Last month, a jury in nearby Virginia Beach convicted Malvo's partner, John Allen Muhammad, 42, in a murder in Manassas and recommended the death penalty.

CNN correspondent Jeanne Meserve spoke Friday to Wolf Blitzer after the prosecution rested its case in the penalty phase.

MESERVE: A very effective presentation by the prosecution this morning. ... Family members of sniper victims [went] on the stand, talking about the kind of people their relatives were, in many cases reciting tearfully their thoughts and feelings and what's happened to their lives since then.

Katie Hannum, or Katrina Hannum [Franklin's daughter], was the last on the stand. She was struggling to maintain her composure. This is a young woman who has been in the courtroom every day of this trial.

She testified about the joy that her mother brought to her life. She put a picture up on the screen of her mother in her pajamas, fixing Christmas breakfast at her house. She said the day that she lost her mom, she lost her brother, too. Apparently he's been unable to handle the strain of this.

Katrina was five months' pregnant when her mother was killed. She talked about her mother's last visit to them, all the planning they had about what kind of grandmother her mother was going to be. She said the last time her mother visited she put her hands on Katrina's belly, and Katrina said that's the only time [her mother's] ever been able to hold the baby in her hands. [It was] extraordinarily emotional testimony for everyone in the courtroom.

And she also went on to talk about the nightmares she has. She said almost every night she has to watch "this man" shoot her mother in the head.

"This man," of course, the person she was referring to, [is] Lee Malvo, who sat in the courtroom, most of the time with his hands over his mouth, watching people as they testified. He betrayed absolutely no emotion whatsoever.

But the rest of the courtroom definitely was, many jurors wiping their eyes as they listened to the testimony. Members of the media, observers, even members of the task force, [were] having difficulty maintaining their composure in the face of all of this.

And in addition to the pain and the pathos that you heard from these family members was anger, too. The daughter [Myrtha Cinada] of Pascal Charlot turned to Malvo and said, "You are evil."

BLITZER: How long does the sentencing phase go on?

MESERVE: Well, the prosecution has now rested. They put on this series of very powerful family member testimony.

They also put on a policeman from Frederick County, Maryland, who witnessed an escape attempt by Malvo when he was first arrested. That goes into the future of [what danger] that Malvo might pose.

The defense quite frankly just wasn't ready to start yet. They'll put some witnesses on this afternoon, but some are coming in from out of town, and some will not be able to testify until Monday. It looks like the testimony in this space of the trial will be wrapped up on Monday, and we might get closing arguments that day also.


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