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Sniper victims' families describe heartache

Defense case to save Malvo's life continues Monday

Ted Franklin, husband of sniper victim Linda Franklin, rests his head in his hand as he listens to a 911 tape played in court Friday.
Ted Franklin, husband of sniper victim Linda Franklin, rests his head in his hand as he listens to a 911 tape played in court Friday.

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A jury finds Lee Boyd Malvo guilty on all three counts in the Washington sniper killings.
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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:

• 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.

• 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.
Lee Boyd Malvo
Capital Punishment

CHESAPEAKE, Virginia (CNN) -- In dramatic testimony that could spell the difference between life and death for 18-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo, relatives of those killed in the October 2002 Washington-era sniper shootings brought several jurors to tears Friday.

One who lost her father in the attacks looked at Malvo and said, "Malvo, you are evil. You are insane. You took my father's life." Myrtha Cinada's father, Pascal Charlot, was killed while preparing to cross the street at a Washington intersection. He was 72.

"You're evil," she repeated to Malvo.

Along with the testimony of six other family members of victims, jurors also heard for the first time a 911 tape in which William "Ted" Franklin reported that his wife, FBI analyst Linda Franklin, had been shot outside a Home Depot in Falls Church, Virginia. The wound proved fatal.

Franklin wails on the tape, his voice barely recognizable. It is so emotionally charged that Judge Jane Marum Roush did not allow it to be introduced during the guilt or innocent phase of Malvo's trial, ruling it could prejudice the jury.

Malvo's defense never challenged the witnesses -- attorney Craig Cooley simply expressed condolences.

After less than two hours of testimony the prosecution rested its case. The defense began calling its own witnesses in hopes of persuading the jury to spare his life. More witnesses will be presented Monday, and the case will then go to the jury for deliberations.

Malvo was convicted Thursday on all three counts against him -- terrorism, capital murder, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. (Full story)

He could face death or life in prison on the first two counts. The firearm charge carries a mandatory three-year prison sentence.

Malvo's attorneys unsuccessfully used an insanity defense during the trial, contending that his partner in the shootings, John Allen Muhammad, 42, brainwashed the teen, who was 17 at the time of the killings.

Last month, a jury in nearby Virginia Beach convicted Muhammad in the October 9, 2002, murder of Harold Dean Meyers at a gas station in Manassas. The jury recommended the death penalty. (Full story)

Formal sentencing for Muhammad is set for February 12.

Defense witnesses describe difficult childhood for Malvo

The defense strategy is to show Malvo had a difficult childhood and changed after he met Muhammad, who recruited and trained him.

Defense attorneys say Malvo was separated from his father as a young child, was repeatedly uprooted by his mother, and attended 10 different schools.

The vice principal of one of those schools, York Castle High School in Jamaica, dissolved in tears on the stand as she described his nomadic childhood.

"We are all hurting so much for Lee ... because here was a brilliant mind. We were certain that Lee would have achieved excellence," said Esmie McLeod, who added that Malvo was moved several times by his family.

McLeod also testified that she was "disturbed" by attention the prosecution paid to the fact that Malvo killed cats in Jamaica. McLeod insisted he had shown "affection" to cats, and said in Jamaican culture "we place no premium on cats. They are thieves. They steal fish and people stone them."

Prosecutor Robert Horan, in cross-examination, said to her, "He wasn't showing affection, he was killing them. Do you understand that?"

Jamaican pastor Lorenzo King, who baptized Malvo into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1999 at the age 14, testified that Malvo "appeared to be lonely. And he seemed to be searching for belonging. You could sense that in him."

"I have no doubt about the quality of his commitment. He was fully committed to the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church," King said. "On the evening he was baptized he walked approximately two miles bringing his clothes with him."

Defense attorneys said they might present mental health experts Monday -- probably in an effort to persuade jurors that Malvo was brainwashed by Muhammad, an argument they used to no avail during the guilt or innocence phase of the trial.

'A hurt that will never go away'

In opening statements for the sentencing phase Friday morning, defense attorney Thomas Walsh emphasized Malvo's age at the time of the attacks. "At 17 you can't buy cigarettes, you can't go to an R-rated movie," he said.

But the prosecution said it would show "the anguish and heartbreak" Malvo caused.

Katrina Hannum, the 25-year-old daughter of Linda Franklin, testified that a single mother had raised her -- Linda Franklin married Ted Franklin in 1995. Hannum said she graduated after attending nine schools in five different countries. Her testimony apparently was an effort to undercut defense arguments that the jury should feel any sympathy for Malvo because of his childhood.

Hannum said she was five months pregnant when her mother was killed -- and now Franklin will never know the child. "The day I lost my mom, I lost my brother too," she added, saying her brother has been unable to handle the grief.

Denise Johnson, widow of victim Conrad Johnson, a Ride-On bus driver, testified that his death caused "a hurt that will never go away. It's a void that will never be filled."

She has two children, ages 15 and 7, who have lost their father, she said, describing her husband as "a very loving person, very kind, very generous." On her birthday last year, her husband had a whole busload of riders sing "Happy Birthday" to her, she said.

Vijay Walekar testified about the death of his brother, taxi driver Premkumar Walekar.

Asked about Malvo, he responded, "I hope justice is served for him."

CNN Producer Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.

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