By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo told detectives that he fatally shot an Arizona man on a golf course in March 2002, a Tucson police investigator said yesterday.
Malvo told Tucson detectives who interviewed him Thursday morning at the Montgomery County jail that he shot Jerry R. Taylor, 60, at the direction of John Allen Muhammad. The shooting came a few months before Malvo and Muhammad killed 10 people in the Washington area.
In exchange for the confession, Arizona authorities granted Malvo immunity from prosecution. Tucson police Capt. Bill Richards said Muhammad could be charged in the case, but prosecutors have made no decision and need to review the evidence.
Richards said Malvo corroborated information about the shooting that had not been publicly disclosed. He was "reserved, contrite and cooperative" during the two-hour interview, Richards said.
"At times he was tearful; at times he would speak very softly," Richards said. "When we concluded the interview, we could see he was emotionally drained from the conversation."
Taylor's daughter, Cheryll Witz, said the confirmation gave her closure.
"I'm very excited," she said last night.
Malvo and Muhammad were each convicted of first-degree murder in Virginia during separate trials in 2003. Muhammad was sentenced to death and Malvo to life in prison.
They were brought to Maryland to be prosecuted this year in the six slayings that occurred in Montgomery County. In May, Muhammad was convicted in those killings; Malvo pleaded guilty this month.
They have been suspects in the Tucson case for several years because the shot that killed Taylor was fired from far away with a powerful rifle, a scenario that fits the profile of the Washington-area sniper shootings.