Sniper Trial

Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 23, 2003; 1:00 PM

Accused sniper John Allen Muhammad turned his defense back over to his attorneys Wednesday and two prosecution witnesses dramatically pointed to Lee Boyd Malvo, Muhammad's alleged co-conspirator, as an assailant in two shootings.

The trial did not take place today due to a power outage in the courthouse.

Washington Post stafff writer Josh White was online Thursday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the first three days of the trial.

A transcript follows.

Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.


Josh White: Good afternoon from Virginia Beach. Court proceedings in sniper supspect John Allen Muhammad's murder trial here were suspended for the day because of a power outage that has closed the courthouse. I'd be happy to field your questions about the first few days of the trial--which have included some dramatic surprises--as well as other questions about the sniper case in general.


Winnfield, Los Angeles, Calif.: What is sniper guy's I.Q.? Has his mental capacity been determined?

Josh White: We haven't heard anything publicly about Mr. Muhammad's I.Q. or his mental health status, but he has been found competent to stand trial. Over the first two days of the trial, when Mr. Muhammad was representing himself in the case, he came across intelligently and posed lucid questions to a number of witnesses. His manner in the courtroom clearly indicated that he could follow the hearing closely and could respond with his own questions that appeared to be on point with what his defense likely will be in court.


Silver Spring, Md.: When Muhammed, during opening statements, said, "There wasn't there. I was", do you have any sense as to whether he was acknowledging being present at all the sniper shootings or was he limiting himself to the Myers murder?

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