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Federal judge rejects D.C. sniper appeal

A federal judge has rejected an appeal from convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad, who was sentenced to death in a 2002 spree in the Washington, D.C. area that left 10 people dead.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A federal judge has rejected an appeal from convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad, who was sentenced to death for masterminding a 2002 killing spree in the Washington, D.C. area that left 10 people dead.

Muhammad, now on death row in Virginia, claimed numerous errors at his 2003 trial. But U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday rejected all of Muhammad's claims challenging his conviction and sentence.

Muhammad's appellate lawyers argued that Muhammad should not have been allowed to serve as his own lawyer for part of the trial because of mental illness. They also argued that the judge should have allowed testimony about Muhammad's difficult childhood.

Muhammad can still appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.

A second defendant, Lee Boyd Malvo, is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.