The Washington, D.C. Beltway Sniper, who took the lives of 10 people in 2002 will receive a lethal injection at a Virginia prison on November 10th. Only 7 years and less than one month for the death penalty to actually be administered. Virginia is doing something right. Oh, wait, how silly of me. An appeal is planned. Muhammad is in the news today because he refused to choose the way he would die – either lethal injection or electrocution. Lethal injection is Virginia’s “default” choice. See video below. Update 11-10-09 Execution Night – see below.
John Allen Muhammad (49) converted to Islam through the Nation of Islam in 1987, and changed his name from Williams to Muhammad. His partner in the deaths, Lee Boyd Malvo was in the U.S. illegally.
The two left a trail of death in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Thirteen shootings occurred. Ten died. Both men are suspected of killings in Louisiana and Alabama.
Muhammad was found guilty of the death of one person in Virginia, 6 in Maryland, and was sentenced to death in August 2005.
Malvo is 24-years-old today and was 17 at the time of murders. He met Muhammad through his mother who had a “strong friendship” with the killer. In a foray to the U.S., the mother, Una Sceon James left her son with Muhammad, in Antigua. Lee Boyd Malvo is serving multiple life prison sentences without the possibility of parole.
Four persons survived: Paul LaRuffa, 55 at the time, Caroline Seawell 43 of Fredericksburg, VA, Iran Brown, just 13 years old and on his way to school in Bowie, Maryland and Jeffrey Hopper, 37, in Ashland, Virginia.
LaRuffa was shot a month before the other victims. His computer was stolen by the shooters and was later recovered by authorities with “shooting sites marked with skulls and crossbones and locations of planned further killings…” LaRuffa was shot 5 times:
Did I feel each shot? I heard them all, but I can’t tell you. The worst
I felt was something hitting me,” he said. “One second you’re sitting
there, and a millisecond later there’s blood pouring out of your body.
He was confronted by a boy wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a T-shirt
that read, “I only have to be nice to one person a day. Today’s not
your day.” LaRuffa continues his life with bullet fragments near his chest and spine, and a surgical scar running from his chest to his navel.
Iran Brown was interviewed by CNN about 2 months after he was shot:
“I’m not in any pain right now. I feel normal, I just can’t lift heavy
things like I did before,” 13-year-old Iran Brown told reporters at
Children’s National Medical Center.
I feel great and am looking forward to picking up my life where I
left off. That includes a lot of basketball and hanging out with my
friends,” Brown said.
He said he was able to shoot baskets, but not as many as he used to.
Caroline Seawell, a stay-at-home mom of two at the time, went shopping and loaded a holiday scarecrow and a wreath into her minivan. A bullet went through her back and exited her chest and lodged in her Toyota minivan. She knew immediately that she had been shot. First she said a prayer, and then she told a stranger in the parking lot. He didn’t believe her.
She had talked about the “snipers” with her husband over breakfast that morning.
Jeffrey Hopper and his wife Stephanie were traveling home to Melbourne, FL. Hopper knew about the shootings and “tried very hard to make sure we had enough gas to get past D.C.” After dinner, the couple walked to their car. Stephanie had a cookie in each hand. She had just leaned over to her husband for a quick kiss and he was hit. When Hopper testified in October 2003, he had just had his “most recent” surgery of 5, to “reconstruct his abdominal muscles.”
Claudine Parker, a clerk at a Montgomery, AL liquor store was shot and killed in September 2002. Muhammad’s palm prints were found at the crime scene.
Fox News has just reported that John Williams Muhammad’s last chance for a stay-of-execution has been eliminated. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has ordered that he receive his full punishment by execution tonight via lethal injection – 9 p.m. EST.