Federal judge tosses out life sentences for DC sniper Malvo

Federal judge tosses out life sentences for DC sniper Malvo

Federal judge tosses out life sentences for DC sniper Malvo

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A federal judge in Virginia overturned the two life sentences of Washington-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo on Friday, more than a decade after he was originally sentenced as a teenager.

"Malvo's case has been remanded back to Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to issue a new sentence", reports Fox News' DC affiliate.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles without the possibility for parole were unconstitutional. Last year, the court ruled that decision could be retroactive.

Malvo received sentences of life without parole after two separate trials.

Malvo also was sentenced to life in prison in Maryland for the murders that occurred there.

Now 32, Malvo is serving multiple life sentences at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia, a supermax prison.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Malvo as well, for the slaying in Fairfax County, Va., of Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot in the Falls Church area. If not, Morrogh said he would pursue another life sentence, saying he believes Malvo meets the criteria for a harsh sentence. The 25-page ruling states in part, "There is no evidence in the record to suggest that petitioner was aware of the existence of this right, much less that he meant to relinquish or abandon it" when he waived his rights by agreeing to be imprisoned for life without parole.

He lived in Bellingham with John Allen Muhammad before they went on a shooting spree that killed 10 people and wounded three others in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia in 2002.

The attorney general's office argued unsuccessfully that the Supreme Court rulings should not apply to Malvo. Muhammad, 48, was executed in 2009.

The order was handed down Friday, May 26 by Judge Raymond Jackson. "But he knew the difference between right and wrong".

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