A split reward?

Search for the Sniper

October 25, 2002|By Johnathon E. Briggs | By Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF

Left unanswered in the excitement over yesterday's arrests of an Army veteran and a teen-ager, was this question: Who, if anyone, might claim the $500,000 reward offered by authorities investigating the three-week sniper rampage.

John Allen Muhammad, 41, was being held on a federal weapons charge; Lee Boyd Malvo, 17, was being held as a material witness. Neither has been charged in the sniper shootings.

If they are indicted in the shootings, would the reward go to the Tacoma, Wash., tipster whose phone call led the sniper task force to investigate Muhammad?

Should it be awarded to the driver of a white van who called 911 when he spotted the suspects' blue Chevrolet Caprice at a rest stop off Interstate 70 west of Frederick?

Or how about the witness who gave police the initial, and later pivotal, description of a Chevy Caprice leaving the scene of the fatal shooting of Pascal Charlot, 72, in Northwest Washington on Oct. 3?

Or for that matter, the people who may have phoned in key information to the call center set up by the FBI, which at one point received 1,000 calls an hour?

These questions may hinge on one caveat: The $500,000 prize can only be rewarded to information leading to an arrest and indictment.

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