Sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo faces an administrative hearing today at the Fairfax County jail for allegedly scrawling "Muhammad," the name of his alleged co-conspirator, on the floor of his cell, jail officials said yesterday.
Sheriff Stan G. Barry also said Malvo told another inmate that he wanted to kill one of the deputies guarding him. No charges have been filed related to that incident.
Malvo, 18, is being held in a cell in the jail's receiving area, Barry said. Among other items, he has been issued a blue felt tip pen. On Monday, after Malvo was taken to a hearing in the Fairfax courthouse, deputies conducted a search of the cell and saw the word "Muhammad" scrawled on the floor, Barry said. He did not know how large the letters were, how long they had been there or whether Malvo had a reason for the writing.
The deputies issued an internal charge of "destruction of or defacing state or county property" against Malvo. If he is found guilty of the charge, he would be placed in disciplinary segregation, Barry said. That means all reading materials other than religious or legal matters would be removed from his cell, his mattress would be taken away for 16 hours a day, and he would be fed the jail's "vegetarian loaf," a baked mixture of eggs, vegetables and cheese, which his attorneys have said made him sick. Michael S. Arif, one of Malvo's appointed attorneys, declined to comment on the jail charges. Although lawyers typically are not allowed to represent inmates at administrative disciplinary hearings, Arif will be allowed to be present at today's hearing.
Malvo is facing capital murder charges in the Oct. 14 sniper shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, outside a Seven Corners Home Depot store. His alleged co-conspirator, John Allen Muhammad, 42, faces identical charges in Prince William County in the Oct. 9 shooting of Harold Dean Meyers, 53, outside a gas station near Manassas. Investigators claim that Malvo and Muhammad roamed the Washington area together last fall, shooting 13 people -- 10 of them fatally.
Barry said jail officials issued a second charge against Malvo on Wednesday after a deputy noticed that Malvo had blue pen markings on his jail-issued shoes. The deputy reportedly asked Malvo why he had written on his footwear and the young prisoner replied, "Because I got bored," Barry said. An additional charge of destruction or defacing state or county property was issued.
A third incident did not result in a charge against Malvo but was more dramatic. After Malvo's arrest and transfer to Fairfax last fall, he was still legally a juvenile and so was placed in his own set of four jail cells with no other prisoners. But when Malvo turned 18 on Feb. 18, he was moved into the receiving area of the jail, Barry said, where he has no physical contact with other prisoners. But he can speak through the barred window of his cell to anyone in the adjacent cell.
On Feb. 24, a deputy assigned to the receiving area walked past the two cells occupied by Malvo and another prisoner and continued out of their sight. The deputy reported she then heard Malvo say, "I would like to cut her throat," and laughed. The deputy reported that Malvo was unaware that she heard his comments. She has filed a report for information purposes only because of the nature of the charges against Malvo, Barry said.
Arif declined to comment on the incident. Malvo's trial is scheduled for Nov. 10.