CBSN

Report: Sniper Suspect Malvo Boasted

Sniper suspect John Lee Malvo is escorted from court after his preliminary hearing in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2003
AP
Washington-area sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo bragged about his shooting prowess, taunted investigators and said he shot some victims in the head for horrific effect, according to a newspaper report.

But a middle school student was shot in the back because "there were other school kids around."

The story in The Washington Post's Sunday edition was based on partial transcripts of Malvo's taped remarks to investigators and a memo that summarizes parts of the interview after Malvo's arrest.

It says he repeatedly likened the shootings to precision military operations, laughingly pointed to body parts where the victims were hit and said he'd do it all again if given the opportunity.

According to the documents, Malvo also asked if he would get to see his lawyers, then later signed a paper waiving his right to an attorney before he began talking about the sniper shootings.

Defense lawyers plan to contest the admissibility of the confession, claiming that Malvo did not understand the ramifications of the waiver.

Malvo also seemed resigned to dying or going to prison, but told authorities if he did go to jail, he wouldn't be there all his life: "You can't build a jail strong enough to hold me...Kill me. I don't care. Torture me...Nothing bothers me...Get rid of me."

Malvo, 18, is charged with capital murder in the Oct. 14 shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, outside a Home Depot store in Fairfax, Va. He faces trial Nov. 10.

Malvo's alleged accomplice, 42-year-old John Allen Muhammad, is charged with capital murder in the Oct. 9 shooting of Harold Dean Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg, Md., outside a gas station in Manassas, Va. Muhammad has an October trial date.

In all, the pair is charged with shooting 19 people, killing 13 and wounding six, in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Ten of the deaths and three nonfatal shootings occurred in the Washington area last October.

Malvo did not bring up Muhammad's name during the interview, the Post said.

Franklin was among the victims shot in the head, and Malvo told investigators many of the victims were shot there to make a point to police, the Post reported.

Malvo, 17 at the time of the interrogation, said the ultimate objective of the killing was to terrorize the community and to force police to pay them to stop.
During the spree, the snipers asked police for $10 million to stop the killings.

He also admitted to several encounters with investigators during the spree. Several times he waited around after the shootings. In several instances, he approached police officers and asked what had happened. He said he remained calm to deflect suspicion, and his regimen included smooth breathing and clear thinking.

Malvo showed little remorse during the interrogation, reported the Post.

"I wouldn't change my life a bit," Malvo told investigators. "I'd do the exact same thing."

Robert Horan Jr., the Fairfax County prosecutor handling the Malvo case, and Paul Ebert, the Prince William County prosecutor handling the case against Muhammad, declined to comment for the story, as did FBI agent Brad Garrett, who took part in the nearly six-hour interrogation with Fairfax County Detective June Boyle.

Michael Arif, Malvo's attorney, also declined comment, but has said in the past that he intends to challenge whether Malvo's confession will be admissible at trial.

Muhammad's attorney, Peter Greenspun, criticized the leaking of the documents.

"These actions...show the desperation of (law enforcement) to taint the jury pool," he said, adding that the defense team is "committed to trying this case in court."