Attorneys for teenage sniper suspect John Lee Malvo announced yesterday that they are seeking details of statements their client made to investigators as prosecutors blasted media reports concerning the Washington area sniper case.
In a hastily called news conference, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. criticized unnamed sources who provided information for a story in Sunday's New York Times asserting that Malvo was responsible for most, if not all, of the 13 shootings that left 10 people dead in October. Horan said much of the newspaper's story is "dead wrong."
Malvo, 17, is charged with capital murder in Fairfax County. John Allen Muhammad, 41, faces the same charge in Prince William County.
The Washington Post has reported that Malvo told investigators he was responsible for at least four of the sniper shootings, including the slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot in Fairfax County.
The Post also has reported that Malvo gave inconsistent statements about his involvement in the shooting of Dean Harold Meyers north of Manassas on Oct. 9, saying at one point that he pulled the trigger and at another point that he did not. The Times reported Sunday that Malvo admitted shooting Meyers.
Besides Malvo's statements, there is little or no evidence tying Muhammad or Malvo to specific shootings, the sources said. Malvo did not mention Muhammad during his interrogation, and Muhammad did not provide any useful information.
Fairfax police and prosecutors agreed to a gag order in the case after The Post last month reported details of Malvo's statements to authorities following his transfer to custody in Fairfax.
Malvo appeared briefly in court yesterday, as his lawyers sought to learn what their client told investigators during those seven hours of questioning. The hearing was delayed until Monday.
Staff writer Josh White contributed to this report.