D.C. sniper's family to bury him in home town of Baton Rouge

John Allen Muhammad was executed in Virginia Tuesday.
John Allen Muhammad was executed in Virginia Tuesday. (AP)
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By Maria Glod and Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 12, 2009

RICHMOND -- Family members of sniper John Allen Muhammad said Wednesday that they will take his remains to the family's home town of Baton Rouge for a funeral. They were in Richmond on Wednesday morning, where Muhammad's body had been taken to Virginia's medical examiner Tuesday night.

Muhammad, 48, was executed Tuesday for masterminding the 2002 wave of sniper shootings in the Washington area that left 10 dead.

Charlene Patterson, a lawyer representing Muhammad's family, said during a brief news conference that the sniper had given the family a letter. But Patterson declined to disclose what Muhammad wrote or any other details, saying it would be "extremely inappropriate at this time." She did not rule out releasing it at some later point.

Muhammad did not make a statement before he was executed by lethal injection.

Jon Sheldon, Muhammad's appellate attorney, said there is no reason to release any of his client's writings.

"The public has been exposed to such ramblings for years," Sheldon wrote in a statement. "It is undignified to all and disrespectful to the victims in this case to continue to focus on these obsessive, paranoid, delusional writings."

In earlier letters to the court, Muhammad wrote that he was innocent and had been framed because he was black. Muhammad maintained his innocence until the end.

Muhammad's death marks the close of the criminal case in one of the nation's most notorious crimes. In fall 2002, Muhammad and his accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, then 17, crisscrossed the Washington region and randomly shot strangers going about their daily routines. Malvo is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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