Malvo Can Be Tried as Adult

Death Penalty an Option in Sniper Case Sniper suspect John Lee Malvo can be tried in adult court, where he would be eligible for the death penalty, a Fairfax County juvenile judge ruled Wednesday.

The ruling means that Fairfax prosecutors can seek to indict Malvo, 17, on capital murder charges in Circuit Court in the Oct. 14 slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, outside Home Depot at Seven Corners. A grand jury will hear evidence Tuesday.

Delegates Shelve Ethics Work

Pr. William Lawmaker Drops Demand Virginia lawmakers put off creating a code of conduct for House members after the delegate who had been pushing for the rules withdrew his demand for immediate action from the body. The reversal spares lawmakers a difficult debate about how to best govern their own behavior.

As a result of last summer's sexual harassment scandal involving former GOP speaker S. Vance Wilkins Jr., Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) had proposed a requirement to investigate all complaints from the public about behavior that reflects poorly on the House of Delegates. He had called for broad new standards of behavior for members while in Richmond and their home districts.

Baseball Backers Slow Push for Funds

$1.2 Billion Budget Gap Cited In light of the state's budget problems, proponents of a Major League Baseball team in Northern Virginia have decided not to seek more public money for a stadium this year. Meanwhile, proponents of having a team in the District are pushing ahead to choose a site and secure financing.

Officials with the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority said it would be impossible to persuade lawmakers to approve more money for a $300 million-to-$400 million stadium at the same time they are cutting services to close a $1.2 billion state budget gap.

Arlington County Board Election Slated

Chairman Died During Meeting Arlington County will hold a special election March 11 to fill the seat of County Board member Charles P. Monroe (D), who died last Saturday of a brain aneurysm during his first regular meeting as chairman.

Funeral services for Monroe, 46, an Arlington native and lawyer, were held Wednesday.

Kaine Backs Marriage Counseling Bill

GOP Has Long Sought Legislation Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced his support for legislation encouraging couples to seek counseling before marriage or divorce, a proposal long supported by Republicans but opposed by many Democrats.

Kaine, who plans to run for governor in 2005, said a "covenant marriage" law would "benefit the commonwealth by making our families stronger."

Del. J. Chapman Petersen (D-Fairfax) filed the bill, HB 2028, on behalf of Kaine, who presides over the state Senate but cannot submit bills. Kaine said he could find no legislative sponsors in the Senate.

-- Victoria Benning

On the trail: A ceremony at Monticello marks the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition.