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Lee Malvo tries, fails to change his name

Lee Boyd Malvo heading for court in 2004. “Malvo? Don’t know him. I’m Joe. Joe Lee.” (MIKE MORONES/AP)

Malvo is now 26. When he was 17, he went on a cross-country killing spree with John Allen Muhammad, murdering random people from Washington state to Washington D.C.. Ten people in this region were slain in a three-week period in October 2002, including victims in the Falls Church and Manassas areas. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the Falls Church murder. Muhammad was executed for the Manassas murder.

Malvo filed a motion to change his name due to concern for “his safety, [to] reduce the risk of assault by other inmates due to the notoriety of his crimes.” Wise County Circuit Court Judge Tammy McElyea rejected the request, saying that whatever he called himself, people would still know he was the infamous Malvo, who claims more murders every time he speaks publicly. He ramped up the total number of killings in his interview with William Shatner in July 2010, which investigators said was not believable.

McElyea noted that Malvo hadn’t had any problems in his seven years at Red Onion State Prison, in Pound, Va. She also pointed out that even when a court grants a name change, the state Department of Corrections maintains the original name on the sentencing order, so the prison would still call him Malvo. There was no explanation of where he came up with the name Joseph Lee Ostrierre. It could not be determined from a search of the Virginia inmate locator database whether any other prisoners named Ostrierre are incarcerated at Red Onion.

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